Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
In Reply: Drs Malloy and Freeman dispute our
premise that "deaths occurring on a particular day of the week spring from
the cohort of births for that day of the week" and suggest that the risk of
death is randomly distributed across the week. Because birth weight is a major
risk factor for neonatal mortality, however, using a linked birth/death cohort
file, our finding that the decrease in weekend deliveries was least pronounced
in smaller infants strongly supports the notion that the risk of mortality
is not randomly distributed across the week. We also disagree with their assertion
that neonatal death "is a random event not necessarily related to the day
Gould JB, Qin C, Marks AR, Chavez G. Safety of the Smallpox Vaccine Among Military Recipients—Reply. JAMA. 2003;290(16):2124–2126. doi:10.1001/jama.290.16.2124-a
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