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March 18, 1983

The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial

Author Affiliations

Roswell Park Memorial Institute Buffalo

JAMA. 1983;249(11):1437. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330350017014

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To the Editor.—  As a biostatistician who is not an MD and who has worked with cancer rather than heart disease, I find that the MRFIT study of intervention in heart disease has curious inconsistencies in its data.For example, lung cancer is one of the causes of death listed in Table 4, and there are 34 cases in the SI series and 28 in the UC series. However, by smoking histories (eg, Table 9), there should be substantially fewer lung cancers in the SI series than in the UC series. How can this be explained?One might suppose the intervention was ineffective. However, the MRFIT data contradict this. There are about the same number of smokers in both series (3,833 v 3,830), but more than twice as many in the SI group (991) as in the UC group (374) had quit smoking at one year. One might suppose that