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Comment & Response
January 17, 2017

Underperforming Big Ideas in Biomedical Research—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Human Integrative Physiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • 3Department of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford, California
JAMA. 2017;317(3):322. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.20003

In Reply Drs Miller and Sittig challenge our claim that the big ideas that have long dominated biomedical research have underperformed. Interestingly, they admit that morbidity and mortality can be reduced by “getting the general population to eat less and exercise more; reducing the incidence of drunk driving; increasing the use of seat belts, child restraints, and bicycle helmets; and reducing cardiovascular disease risk through aspirin, blood pressure control, cholesterol reduction, and smoking cessation.” Indeed, these interventions constitute a terrific research agenda! Why not devote more research funds to finding out how to make these interventions more efficient?

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