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Citation missing to a similar study performed thirty years ago?

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:19 GMT

Author: Professor Christopher (Kim) Buttery
Position: Clinical Professor of Public Health
Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
E-mail: cbuttery@vcu.edu
Submitted Date: January 09, 2008
Published Date: January 10, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I really appreciated the opportunity to read Khaw et al article on behavior and longevity. I was surprised however that among the citations no credit was given to a similar study performed thirty years ago by Anne Somers and Lester Breslow on men in Alameda County, California. Somers and Breslow showed that some 7 healthy behaviors were associated with an increased life span of 11 years. This study resulted in a recommendation for their: Life Long Health Monitoring Program, published in N.Eng.J.Med 296:601-608.1977. Economics use to be called the dismal science. Our inability to help populations change their behaviors, even with 30+ years of trying, shows that Behavioral Science has now inherited this title as a 'dismal science' based on outcome.

No competing interests declared.