Letters from the June 2, 2007, issue of Science News | Science News



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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the June 2, 2007, issue of Science News

1:19pm, May 28, 2007

Where there's fire

Regarding "Risky Flames: Firefighter coronaries spike during blazes" (SN: 3/24/07, p. 180), was the increased death rate due to firefighters having a higher rate of heart disease than people do in other jobs? An analysis of eating habits may reveal more insight.

Jim Schmitz
St. Louis, Mo.

The study looked only at what the firefighters were doing at the time of death. It didn't compare their heart-disease rates with those in other groups. However, the study authors suggest that the work life of firefighters, which includes significant downtime interspersed with extreme exertion, may contribute to heart disease.—B. Vastag

Sore gripes

The study on canker sores ("Patches take sting out of canker sores," SN: 4/7/07, p. 222) compared an "untreated" group with a group using licorice patches. A more valid comparison would be

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