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In Reply. —
Dr Nartonis criticizes the assumption that the missing University of Kansas alumni have the same mortality rate as their registered classmates of the same sex. Dr Nartonis' theory that the missing students have a higher death rate than their registered classmates is not supported by the data. If death were a common reason that the University of Kansas lost track of students, then the percentage of missing students would be positively related to the percentage of dead students in each cohort. The opposite is true. The percentage of missing students from the University of Kansas in each cohort rises during the period of the study, 1934 through 1983, from 5% to 15% for the men and from 6% to 15% for the women, while the percentage of dead students decreases from 29% to 1% for the men and from 14% to less than 1% for the women.
Simpson WF. Comparative Longevity of Christian Scientists-Reply. JAMA. 1990;263(12):1634. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440120056029