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Serum Cholesterol and Death From Coronary Heart Disease-Reply

Jeremiah Stamler, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(12):1600-1601. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390120061016.
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In Reply.—  In reply to Dr Burch, to estimate ability to reduce coronary death rates in different age groups by control of established major risk factors, one needs age-specific data on the numbers of people in the population with these risk factors (ie, their prevalence rates) and age-specific data on absolute excess risks (ie, differences in coronary death rates between population subgroups with and without risk factors); relative risks do not suffice.Here are two estimates, one for serum cholesterol and one for systolic pressure, from the age-specific data on the 356 222 MRFIT primary participants:For the subgroups with serum cholesterol levels of 182 mg/dL (4.71 mmol/L) or more and 181 mg/dL (4.68 mmol/L) or less, six-year coronary death rates increased markedly with age, from 184.0 and 59.2 per 100000, respectively, for men aged 35 to 39 years at baseline to 1535.9 and 830.9, respectively, for men aged


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