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February 28, 1959


Author Affiliations

1 Craigie St. Cambridge 38, Mass.

JAMA. 1959;169(9):983. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000260081021

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To the Editor:—  The small size of our study, commented on by Dr. Hyman, was acknowledged in the text; but we are prepared to retreat only in the face of larger numbers. The original study of the incidence of the false-positive reaction was the work of Moore (our reference 4), who deliberately chose white, upper income, private patients with positive reagin tests as his subjects. These persons were drawn from an area where syphilis is relatively less common than in other localities which might have been selected. False-positive reactions would therefore be expected more frequently than in samples of other social composition. It is eminently sensible to probe for a new phenomenon in a place in which it is likely to be found. We believe that the false-positive problem has been over-emphasized, and our study was planned (i. e., biased) to provide a look at the other side of the

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