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Authors’ response
  1. Michael J Goldacre1,
  2. Clare J Wotton1,
  3. Tiarnan D L Keenan2,3
  1. 1Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Fight For Sight Clinical Fellow, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Tiarnan D L Keenan, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WH, UK; tiarnan.keenan{at}

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We would like to respond to the letter from Carrie Huisingh and Gerald McGwin.1 They assert that we should have been more technical in our use of the term ‘risk’.2 Our use is supported by the International Dictionary of Epidemiology published by the International Epidemiological Association as the gold standard on the use of epidemiological terms. It describes the use of the term risk in epidemiology as follows: ‘risk: the probability that an event will occur, eg that an individual will become ill or die within a stated period of time or by a certain age. Also, a non-technical term encompassing a variety of measures of the probability of a (generally) …

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  • Contributors MJG and TDLK contributed to the conception of the letter. MJG wrote the letter, and all authors revised it. MJG is the guarantor.

  • Funding The Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology is funded by the English National Institute for Health Research to analyse the linked data. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the funding body. TDLK is funded by Fight for Sight through a clinical fellowship.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval for analysis of the record linkage study data was obtained from the Central and South Bristol Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee (04/Q2006/176).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No further data relating to this study are available.

  • ▸ Additional supplementary files are published online only. To view these files please visit the journal online (