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August 2, 2000

Are Magnets Effective for Pain Control?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(5):564-566. doi:10.1001/jama.284.5.561

To the Editor: The study by Dr Collacott and colleagues1 contains sex bias and selection bias; 19 of 20 subjects (95%) were men, 11 of 20 (55%) were disabled, and 6 of 20 (85%) were retired. It is possible that many such patients would deny improvement from any therapy, to protect disability or monthly benefit claims. It is also inappropriate to include a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, which is controversial and not accepted by the majority of US physicians. 2 The statement implying that pain was caused by spondylosis is not scientifically acceptable because all patients at mean age 60 years display degenerative bone disease, which is generally asymptomatic.