We understand the argument of Mundt et al. [
] as they reiterate the concerns of Greenland and others [
- Mundt K.A.
- Bigelow C.
- Van Wijngaarden E.
Letter to the editor: Apportionment of disease in individuals.
J Clin Epidemiol. 2003; 56: 291
- Greenland S.
Relation of probability of causation to relative risk and doubling dose: a methodologic error that has become a social problem.
Am J Public Health. 1999; 89: 1166-1169
3]. However, we live in a world in which the judiciary is being asked to make decisions related to this issue. In the absence of a true biologic model the choice is either to do nothing or to use the best available model and the most recent evidence to help the judiciary make those decisions. Our model does not claim to apportion a disease in an individual to its specific causes as suggested by Mundt et al. The model actually apportions responsibility, by partitioning excess risk between multiple risk factors. We also acknowledge that the attributable risks can add up to more than 100%, which is why we emphasize that the risk calculated is a minimum attributable risk.
- Beyea J.
- Greenland S.
The importance of specifying the underlying biologic model in estimating the probability of causation.
Health Phys. 1999; 76: 269-274
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- Letter to the editor: Apportionment of disease in individuals.J Clin Epidemiol. 2003; 56: 291
- Relation of probability of causation to relative risk and doubling dose: a methodologic error that has become a social problem.Am J Public Health. 1999; 89: 1166-1169
- The importance of specifying the underlying biologic model in estimating the probability of causation.Health Phys. 1999; 76: 269-274
© 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.