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July 28, 1989

Exposure to Cigarette Smoke and Cervical Cancer-Reply

Author Affiliations

The University of Utah Salt Lake City

The University of Utah Salt Lake City

JAMA. 1989;262(4):499. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430040069019

In Reply. —  Control patients were matched to case patients by age in our study, while sexual history, education, and church attendance (to help control for sexual activity) were controlled in the smoking analyses so that they also could be examined as independent risk factors in other analyses.1 Because of the risk of cervical cancer associated with these variables,1 major differences in their distribution between case and control subjects were noted. These variables, although associated, did not present, in the analysis, a problem of multicolinearity. While logistic regression models have the capability to control for confounding, they can only control to the extent that the data are accurate. Thus, biased risk estimates could result if important confounding variables were reported inaccurately, although they were controlled in the analyses. While there is the possibility that sexual history is reported inaccurately, we do not believe that case patients reported differently