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Comment & Response
August 2017

Chemical Ocular Burn Epidemiology—Dealing with Missing Values—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins Surgery Center for Outcomes Research, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Health Services Outcomes Research Center, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017;135(8):893. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.1849

In Reply We read with interest the letter by Bonilla-Escobar et al and agree that epidemiologic studies about ocular burns fill an important gap in the literature. Improving our understanding of this potentially serious injury can help inform policy and clinical decision making at all levels.

Bonilla-Escobar and colleagues note the high prevalence of missing values for certain specific variables in the data set we examined for this study. We appreciate their pointing this out, and while analyses related to missing variable values were not described in our article, we did examine factors, including agent acidity and injury setting, to understand whether there were patterns associated with the likelihood of missing values being present. We found that having missing data for both acidity and injury setting was more common among individuals in lower-income quartiles than those classified in higher-income quartiles. Otherwise, we did not identify correlations between missing data and other variables examined in the study. Also, as noted in our article, we suspect that much of the missing acidity data “…may represent burns by chemical agents of unknown acidity or even burns from unknown chemicals.”1

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