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Editor's Correspondence
November 14, 2005

The Other Side of the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention Trial Data—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(20):2432. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.20.2432-a

In reply

We thank McCormack and Loewen for their interest and the opportunity to further discuss and clarify our results. They are concerned about a possible “increase in mortality,” particularly from cardiovascular causes, in patients without MS treated with bezafibrate on the basis of their cross-referencing subset analysis of our report1 and the originally published BIP study data.2 However, McCormack and Loewen had overlooked our statement in the “Methods” section that in our report “[t]he follow-up period for mortality registration lasted until March 2000 (mean ± SD, 8.1 ± 0.8 years; range, 4.9-9.7 years).”1(p1155) In contrast, in the originally published BIP study data, the follow-up period lasted until May 1998 (mean ± SD follow-up, 6.2 ± 0.8 years). This point was also clarified in the abstract and emphasized additionally in Figure 2B and its legend. We believe that McCormack and Loewen's erroneous “cross-referencing” comparison of the mortality data from the 2 different reports with the different follow-up periods has lead to a gross miscalculation and consequently to a proposed concluding statement that has no scientific validity. We present the actual mortality data for patients without MS in the Table.