Author Affiliations: Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Michels); Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center (Dr Michels), and Department of Medicine (Drs Michels and Braunwald), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Can observational data substitute for randomized controlled trials for
developing treatment recommendations and initiating public health interventions?
This question arises from the article by Newby and colleagues1
on the early initiation of statins in patients with acute coronary syndromes
(ACS), reported in this issue of THE JOURNAL. The authors present results
from an observational cohort study that indicate no difference in mortality
and cardiovascular outcomes among patients with ACS who initiated statin treatment
prior to hospital discharge and patients who did not receive statins.
Michels KB, Braunwald E. Estimating Treatment Effects From Observational Data: Dissonant and Resonant Notes From the SYMPHONY Trials. JAMA. 2002;287(23):3130–3132. doi:10.1001/jama.287.23.3130
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