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"Settling the UGDP Controversy"?

Robert F. Bradley, MD; Henry Dolger, MD; Peter H. Forsham, MD; Holbrooke Seltzer, MD
JAMA. 1975;232(8):813-817. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250080015008.
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CALLING it the "UGDP controversy" is an understatement. Unquestionably, the study itself triggered lively debate, but it was the prepublication extracting of supportive statements from the American Diabetes Association,1 the American Medical Association,2 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),3 and the press (New York Times, May 21, 1970; Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1970; Washington Post, May 22, 1970) that broadened the issue far beyond the implications of the University Group Diabetes Program (UGDP) itself. History now repeats itself, in that furor has again been created by reckless extrapolation of a small and temporary cardiovascular mortality trend observed in the UGDP to the entire diabetic population of the United States,4 and by unilateral publicizing (AMA news release, Jan 27, 1975) of the controversy.

The observations and comments that follow relate not only to the espoused biostatistical validity5 of the original UGDP report,6 but also


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