Question 11: On a less statistical point, what is wrong with the way the conclusion is phrased?
The conclusion is that ‘Repeated viral infections other than lower respiratory tract infections early in life may reduce the risk of developing asthma up to school age’. But we knew that before we did the study. They might as well conclude that there may be life on Mars. We know it is true, but the study doesn’t change this knowledge. What they should conclude is that repeated viral infections other than lower respiratory tract infections early in life are associated with an increased risk of developing asthma up to school age. This may not be causal, of course.
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Last updated: 27 July, 2009.
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