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September 14, 2005

Hair Dye Use and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(10):1205. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1205-a

To the Editor: The meta-analysis of studies of hair dye use and cancer risk by Dr Takkouche and colleagues1 was based on a comprehensive search of relevant studies of cancer risk associated with ever use, permanent dye use, and “intensive exposure,” defined as more than 200 lifetime applications of hair dye. However, the article did not present data on risks related to hair dye color, duration of use (although duration was used to impute frequency when frequency was unavailable), or year of use. Since these data were not always available in individual studies, the meta-analysis presented only the variables that were provided by all studies. By limiting the review to the “lowest common denominator,” valuable information was lost.

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