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November 10, 1975

Oral Contraceptives, Serum Folate, and Hematologic Status-Reply

Author Affiliations

Louisiana State University Medical Center Shreveport

JAMA. 1975;234(6):592. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260190019010

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In Reply.—  We would like to thank Dr Merritt for the generally complimentary remarks in reference to our paper.We accept his criticism of the semantic impropriety of the terms "incidence" and "control." In relation to his second question, we believe that Dr Merritt is correct in his assessment that the L casei serum folate values are log-normally distributed. We have computed the geometric means for the L casei serum folate for the group taking oral contraceptives and the group not taking oral contraceptives. For the group not taking oral contraceptives, the geometric mean is 6.2 ng/ml; for the group taking oral contaceptives, the geometric mean is 5.83 ng/ml. This is a difference of only 6% and is not statistically significant (P>.5).We believe that this statistical maneuver has reinforced our original contentions, and we continue to believe that our data demonstrate no significant difference in serum folate values by