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June 26, 1995

Calculating Gains in Life Expectancy With Risk Factor Reduction-Reply

Author Affiliations

Montreal, Quebec

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(12):1330-1332. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430120123018

In reply  Yudkin's letter suggests that we may have overestimated the potential benefits of dietary modification. However, as we stated in the "Comment" section of our article,1 we attempted to estimate the maximum benefit that might be associated with 100% dietary compliance. It should also be apparent from our article that we are not strong advocates of dietary intervention for all adults without coronary disease, as we believe the potential benefits are modest at best.The remainder of Yudkin's letter focuses not on our article but on work that he has previously published using a different methodology. We note that his estimates are within the same order of magnitude as ours in that cholesterol reduction is associated with an insignificant decrease in life expectancy, while smoking cessation is associated with substantial benefits.Overall, despite the different methodologies, it would appear to us that we have reached the same conclusion: