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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Letter to the Editor - On French and American paradoxes

We would like to thank Dr Lanzmann-Petithory for her comments [1] on our age–period–cohort analyses about heavier drinking [2]. As she devoted most of the space to alcohol and health in general and the French paradox in particular, we would like to start our rejoinder with a remark on that topic. The role of wine in the French paradox is still controversial. It is now known that a large part of this seeming paradox can be explained by the coding practices of French doctors, who have been shown to overuse unspecific codes for cardiovascular disease, so-called ‘garbage codes’, artificially lowering the prevalence of ischaemic heart disease [3, 4]. As for the general impact of alcohol on health, most analyses come to the conclusion that it is mostly detrimental [e.g. [5]; the latest results of the Global Burden of Diseases study (GBD):].
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