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Letters |

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Serum Cotinine Levels—Reply

Ralph S. Caraballo, PhD; Gary A. Giovino, PhD; Michael P. Eriksen, ScD; Terry F. Pechacek, PhD; Patricia Richter, PhD
JAMA. 1998;280(24):2075-2076. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-24-jbk1223.
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In Reply.—Dr Abrams raises the possibility that the relatively low cardiovascular morbidity and mortality rates in New Mexico may be influenced to some extent by the lower prevalence of cigarette use and fewer number of cigarettes smoked by Hispanics living in New Mexico. Cigarette smoking is a cause of cardiovascular disease.1 A dose-response relationship exists between the number of cigarettes smoked each day and the risk of cardiovascular disease.1 New Mexico ranks 33rd of all states in terms of current cigarette smoking prevalence (22.9% of persons aged 18 years or older).2 According to data from New Mexico's combined 1995 and 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Surveys, 21.3% of white adults, 23.2% of Hispanic adults, and 20.3% of Native American adults were current smokers.2 Nationally, Hispanics and Native Americans smoke fewer cigarettes each day than whites, as indicated by data from the National Health Interview Survey.3 Although these data are somewhat consistent with Abrams' hypothesis, the question can only be answered by research designed specifically to test this hypothesis.

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