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November 9, 1984

Lipid Research Clinics Program-Reply

JAMA. 1984;252(18):2548. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350180015021

In Reply.—  Although three of the six cholestyramine-treated men killed in automobile accidents had alcohol in their blood when they died, none were known to be alcoholics. Because alcohol is said to be a factor in about half of all accidental deaths nationally,1 this finding is not at all surprising. Cholestyramine was not associated with any change in the distribution of alcohol consumption. The proportion of participants who reported averaging at least one drink daily actually decreased over time and remained nearly identical in the two treatment groups. Median rather than mean levels of alcohol consumption were published, given the skewness introduced by the high prevalence (approximately 25%) of zero values.Increases in serum alkaline phosphatase and transaminase levels were anticipated as direct immediate effects of the drug and usually diminished with time. The differences between the treatment groups' rates of hospitalization for ulcers and gastritis also appeared early,