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May 3, 1995

Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Elderly Patients-Reply

Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1995;273(17):1330-1331. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520410023011

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In Reply.  —Drs Harris, Ettinger, and Havlik suggest that our results may be due to the "unique" characteristics of our sample. The only unique feature of our sample is that it is truly representative of the elderly population in contemporary urban society. This sample is as appropriate for studying the association of cholesterol and adverse outcomes as many other studies that have included a narrower spectrum of subjects. It would be unfortunate for experts to marginalize our study because it included substantial numbers of women, African Americans, and individuals subsisting with limited resources.These investigators raise an important concern that subjects with low cholesterol levels had poor health status. In unpublished analyses, we found no significant differences between the cholesterol groups with respect to overall health status, functional status, cognitive function, psychosocial support, or socioeconomic status. To evaluate the potential association of low cholesterol levels with early mortality, we repeated

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