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Comment & Response
April 16, 2014

Lag Time to Benefit for Preventive Therapies

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • 2Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2014;311(15):1567. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2320

To the Editor Dr Lee and colleagues1 discussed using lag time to benefit along with magnitude of benefit when considering preventive therapies in older adults. However, using time-to-benefit information from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) entails a number of challenges that warrant discussion.

Time-to-benefit information influences decision making for individual older patients in various ways.2 First, the outcome with the shortest time to benefit may not be valued as much by an older person as an incremental improvement in quality of life, which may require more time (or not occur).3