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September 1974

Incidence of Diagnosed Clinical Otosclerosis

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor Department of Speech, Language and Auditory Pathology East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27834

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;100(3):245. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780040253022

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To the Editor.—The article entitled "The incidence of Diagnosed Clinical Otosclerosis" by Pearson et al (Archives 99:288-291 [April] 1974) warrants a few comments. The first regards the importance of reporting incidence data of diagnosed clinical otosclerosis in a homogeneous group of Rochester, Minnesotans of Northern European descent. The authors stated that as "the first long-term study on the incidence of otosclerosis" these data provided information that should, among other things, "help clarify the relationship of genetics and environmental factors in the etiology of the disease." The purpose of science is to make generalizations from specific, empirical facts. A sophisticated researcher and/or clinician is very limited in the generalizations he can make, especially genetic and environmental generalizations, from the reported incidence of diagnosed clinical otosclerosis in the unrepresentative Mayo sample. Second, the authors point to the work of Guild, who reported that "histologic" otosclerosis indeed varies as a function of

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