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February 25, 1998

Clinical Trials Comparing Surgical vs Nonsurgical Therapy

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(8):584. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-8-jbk0225

To The Editor.—Dr Howard and colleagues1 correctly emphasize that studies comparing surgical vs nonsurgical therapy pose distinctive statistical challenges because the complications of surgery usually occur early, whereas the complications of nonsurgical therapy generally occur at a constant rate over time. However, other inherent differences between surgical and nonsurgical therapies can invalidate comparisons between them despite the most careful statistical adjustments.2

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