March 17, 1975

The UGDP Study

Author Affiliations

President The Upjohn Company Kalamazoo, Mich

JAMA. 1975;231(11):1133-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230009002

To the Editor.—  The lead editorial in the Feb 10 issue of The Journal (231:624, 1975) distorted the careful and scholarly Biometric Society Committee report1 on its statistical analysis of the University Group Diabetics Program (UGDP)2 data.The author of the editorial declared, "The probability that oral hypoglycemic agents cause premature deaths from cardiovascular disease remains valid." However, the Committee report found:The possibility that deaths may have been allocated to cardiovascular causes preferentially in the groups receiving oral therapy exists and in view of the "nonsignificance" of differences in total mortality, some reservations about the conclusion that oral hyperglycemics [sic] are toxic must remain. Nonetheless, we consider the evidence of harmfulness moderately strong.The author of the editorial also offered an "estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 such unnecessary deaths occur each year in the United States alone" as a result of these drugs. This statement was the