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Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:17 GMT

Author: Paul T Francis
Position: Associate Professor, Community Medicine
Institution: Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, India
Additional Authors: Nil
Submitted Date: December 13, 2007
Published Date: December 13, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I congratulate the authors for the stupendous effort in conducting such a prospective study on the topic of meat consumption and cancer.

One important missing link in the methodology is information about non-responders. Even though the sample size is very large, only about 15% of the total eligible population responded (0.5 million out of 3.5 m who were sent the questionnaire). The size of non-responders if about 7 times of the participants.

Even though useful conclusions can be derived from the available participants, the authors have not mentioned about the non-responders at all. I feel that is an important omission. I am sure the authors would have considered this issue and addressed it.

I request that they share that important data with the readers.

No competing interests declared.