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Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials$
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Mark Elwood

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529552.001.0001

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Critical appraisal of a retrospective cohort study

(p.433) Chapter 13 Critical appraisal of a retrospective cohort study
Critical Appraisal of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials

J. Mark Elwood

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an example of the application of the scheme for critical appraisal: a retrospective cohort study entitled ‘Cancer mortality in workers exposed to chlorophenoxy herbicides and chlorophenols’, published in The Lancet in 1991. Assessed on its own, this study has produced results which are consistent with causality, but are not convincing, as other explanations cannot be excluded. Taken with the background of several other studies which also suggest an increase in this rare condition with this particular exposure, the overall evidence becomes much more persuasive.

Keywords:   cohort studies, causal relationships, cancer mortality, chlorophenoxy herbicides, chlorophenols

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