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Why an Odds Ratio of 2 is Not Low

"Yes, for EMFs we do not have any non-exposed and very few highly exposed people, so ORs are likely to be quite low."
-- Sir Richard Doll at the UK NRPB on Friday 21st May, 1999 - From This document

"Recently an American epidemiologist, Dr Sam Milham, re-analysed Doll’s own data presented in his 1956 (Doll & Hill) paper which showed that heavy smokers were 23.7 times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers. However when you compare the figures for Heavy Smokers vs light and moderate ones the ORs fall to 3.5 and 1.9. When you compare light smokers with moderate ones you get an OR of only 1.8."

-- Alasdair Philips - From This document

For additional information on this topic, please see Roy Beavers Ugly Secret Essay on the Blue World, and how the epidemiological studies are misleading us.

Date:    Thu, 03 Jun 1999 10:58:14
To:      emfguru 
From:    "Roy L. Beavers" 
Subject: (Phillips) Sir Richard Doll talks ...

.....Very interesting Alasdair....  (I cut a couple of the personal
sentences so that this could be sent to all.....)  It needs to be
in our archives....

Cheerio....

Roy Beavers (EMFguru)......
rbeavers@llion.org.......
.....It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.....
EMF-L web-site can be found at: http://www.feb.se
EMF-L archives can be found at: http://www.wave-guide.org/archives/emf-l
..................PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROFITS..................

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 10:58:14
From: Alasdair Philips 
To: "Roy L. Beavers" 
Subject: Re: McBride study (fwd)

Roy - you make a good point about OR of 'only' 1.8. ......>

Jean and I attended a lecture by Sir Richard Doll at the UK NRPB on Friday
21st May. He was talking about EMFs and cancer and neuro- degenerative
diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and ALS).  I hope I will remain as active at
his age! He only talked about magnetic fields and only mentioned electric
fields in passing. He was also ten fold too high in his estimate of
‘typical background magnetic fields’ which he put at 500nT instead of the
40 to 50nT which is the universally accepted UK ‘norm’. He also said that
he increasingly felt childhood leukaemia was not genetically linked
through families.

I asked the first question which was about Odds Ratios (OR = 2 means that
something occurs twice as often in one group of people [cases] compared
with another [the controls]). It has often been said that the trouble with
EMF related ORs is that they are too low - typically in the range 1.5 to
3.5, whereas the smoking ORs are over 20.

Recently an American epidemiologist, Dr Sam Milham, re-analysed Doll’s own
data presented in his 1956 (Doll & Hill) paper which showed that heavy
smokers were 23.7 times more likely to die from lung cancer than
non-smokers. However when you compare the figures for Heavy Smokers vs
light and moderate ones the ORs fall to 3.5 and 1.9. When you compare light
smokers with moderate ones you get an OR of only 1.8.

[.....Sam Milham may be listening in.  His paper which makes the
foregoing point is summarized on guru's web-site......guru.....]

I stated these figures and then asked "Sir Richard, for EMFs are we not
comparing lightly exposed people with moderately exposed people and
wouldn’t that mean we should maybe only expecting ORs around 2". His answer
was a good one ... 

     "Yes, for EMFs we do not have any non-exposed and very
     few highly exposed people, so ORs are likely to be quite low."

This is quite an admission as no longer should the authorities be allowed
to dismiss ORs of around 2 as being too low to be of much consequence.
Their arguments have often been around "if EMFs were a 
real problem we should be seeing ORs of about 20, like for smoking".

[!!!!!......  You never will hear the government/industry crowd admit
the validity of what you (and Doll) are saying, Alasdair.  Though they
rely heavily on the very same argument in making their case against the
dangers of "second hand" smoke -- where O.R.s run as low as below 1.5....
........  That is why I questioned the "free ride" for EMF stated in the
McBride study, though the data showed an O.R. of 1.8????.....guru.....]

Alasdair
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alasdair Philips,   BSc(Eng), DAgE, MIAgE
Director, UK Powerwatch, (aphilips@gn.apc.org)
EMC Engineer and EMF-bioeffects researcher
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



At 21:42 01/06/99 -0500, you wrote:
>
>I still have not been given a satisfactory answer as to why an O.R.
>of 1.8 is considered (by McBride?) to absolve EMF of any risk???
>
>Roy Beavers (EMFguru)......
>rbeavers@llion.org.......
>.....It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.....
>EMF-L web-site can be found at: http://www.feb.se
>EMF-L archives can be found at: http://www.wave-guide.org/archives/emf-l
>..................PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROFITS..................
>
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Tue, 01 Jun 1999 15:34:27 -0500
>From: Edward Maxey 
>To: "Roy L. Beavers" 
>Subject: McBride
>
>Hello Roy,
>
>Prior communications to you regarding the McBride study (Power-
>Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields and Risk of Childhood
>Leukemia in Children, Am. J. Epidemiology, Vol 149, No. 9, p 831)
>noted that there were 21 cases of leukemia from abodes within 100
>meters of high power transmission lines.  Twenty of the twenty-one
>cases were acute lymphatic leukemia.
>
>Elsewhere this paper states that 88 percent of 399 cases had acute
>lymphocytic leukemia.
>
>This raised the question as to whether or not the study differentiated
>between acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute lymphatic leukemia.
>
>Here is Mary McBride's response:
>   Further to your question about the term, "acute lymphatic leukemia",
>I would refer you to the Second Edition of the International
>Classification of
>   Diseases for Oncology (World Health Organization, Geneva, 1990),
>   which lists "acute lymphatic leukemia" and "acute lymphocytic
>leukemia"
>   as equivalent terms to "acute lymphoblastic leukemia, not otherwise
>   specified" and coded to morphology code 9821/3.
>
>
>
>Perhaps this information will be helpful to those on your list who
>happen to
>study this paper.
>
>Cordially,
>Ed Maxey
>
>
>
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alasdair Philips,   BSc(Eng), DAgE, MIAgE
Director, UK Powerwatch, (aphilips@gn.apc.org)
EMC Engineer and EMF-bioeffects researcher
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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