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Dr Davidson suggests that the improvements we measured in cardiovascular status might be explained by dissimilarity of the intervention and control groups, as reflected by apparent preintervention differences in plasma triglyceride and HDL levels. To reply:1. The triglyceride levels at preintervention were not significantly different between the groups (P>.05).2. As Dr Davidson points out, the plasma HDL levels were significantly higher in the experimental group at preintervention. However, we do not think that the extent of coronary artery disease was less severe in the experimental group. As we stated in our article, there were no significant preintervention differences between the two groups in extent of coronary disease as measured by coronary arteriography, previous myocardial infarction, previous coronary artery bypass surgery, or exercise radionuclide ventriculography. Similarly, there were no significant preintervention differences in cigarette smoking, physical activity, or ethanol use. Also, the preintervention differences in HDL
Ornish D, Scherwitz L, Gotto AM. Treatment of Ischemic Heart Disease-Reply. JAMA. 1983;250(13):1695–1696. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340130025020
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