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September 12, 2001

How Do Observational Studies Expand the Evidence Base for Therapy?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Yale New Haven Health System Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (Dr Radford) and Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine (Drs Radford and Foody), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn; Qualidigm, Middletown, Conn (Drs Radford and Foody).

JAMA. 2001;286(10):1228-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.286.10.1228

The impressive advances in cardiovascular therapy during the last several decades owe a great deal to randomized trials.1 The foundation for 21st-century cardiovascular care has been laid, therapy by therapy, through the disciplined application of randomized trial methodology to important scientific insights and therapeutic uncertainties. The random assignment of patients to receive one care strategy or therapy vs another has allowed investigators to separate consistent therapeutic efficacy "signals" from the "noise" of patient variability and physician bias.

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