To the Editor. —
Bross and Natarajan have claimed a marked increase in the risk of leukemia among certain persons exposed to diagnostic x-rays. To account for the number of observed cases of an indicator disease among leukemic children irradiated during pregnancy, they propose an "adjusted" model involving three parameters: the proportion of affected children, the increased risk of indicator diseases, and the increased risk of leukemia. These are assigned the values 1%, fivefold, and 50-fold. Because the model fits the data rather well, the authors claim that 1% of exposed subjects do indeed have a 50-fold increase in the risk of leukemia. They give no indication, however, of the sources and methods used to evaluate these parameters. One must conclude that the values were chosen to make the model fit the data. Then the authors' claim is unwarranted for the following reasons:1. The parameter values are subject to
Oppenheim BE. Genetic Damage From Diagnostic Radiation. JAMA. 1977;238(10):1024–1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280110027007
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