Smoking as "independent" risk factor for suicide: illustration of an artifact from observational epidemiology?

G. Davey Smith, A. N. Phillips, J. D. Neaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two widely used criteria for determining whether an association between a risk factor and a disease is causal are dose response and independence from other factors. Data from a large US risk factor study (MRFIT) throw up a relation between cigarette smoking and suicide that meets these criteria, yet appears to be biologically implausible. It is likely that many more such associations, for other exposures and other diseases, are equally spurious, but are protected by their lack of obvious implausibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-712
Number of pages4
JournalThe Lancet
Volume340
Issue number8821
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 1992

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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