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February 25, 1983

Tampons and Toxic Shock Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Minnesota Department of Health Minneapolis
Wisconsin Division of Health Madison
University of Minnesota School of Public Health Minneapolis
University of Minnesota School of Medicine Duluth
Iowa State Department of Health Des Moines

JAMA. 1983;249(8):1004-1005. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330320012009

To the Editor.—  The recent article in The Journal (1982;247:835) by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, regarding their second toxic shock syndrome (TSS) case-control study also discussed the results of our Tri-State Toxic Shock Syndrome Study (TSTSSS).1 We believe some of their study findings and ours have been misinterpreted in the CDC article.In the CDC report, emphasis was placed on the finding of the association of menstrually related TSS with the use of Rely brand tampons and the lack of difference found between cases and controls in the absorbency of the tampon product used. The discussion regarding the lack of a relationship between absorbency and the risk of TSS developing is incomplete and misleading. First, every tampon brand has two to five different brand styles (regular, super, and super plus) that have different absorbency levels. In September 1980, all five major tampon brands included brand styles