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Comment & Response |

Lag Time to Benefit for Preventive Therapies

Holly M. Holmes, MD1; Lillian Min, MD, MSHS2; Cynthia Boyd, MD, MPH3
[+] Author Affiliations
1University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
2Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
3Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2014;311(15):1567. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2320.
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To the Editor Dr Lee and colleagues1 discussed using lag time to benefit along with magnitude of benefit when considering preventive therapies in older adults. However, using time-to-benefit information from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) entails a number of challenges that warrant discussion.

Time-to-benefit information influences decision making for individual older patients in various ways.2 First, the outcome with the shortest time to benefit may not be valued as much by an older person as an incremental improvement in quality of life, which may require more time (or not occur).3


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April 16, 2014
Sei J. Lee, MD, MAS; Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD; Louise C. Walter, MD
1Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco
2Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
JAMA. 2014;311(15):1567-1568. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2325.
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