Is It Just a Marker for Increased Care?

  • Richard Hockey
  • Published: September 26, 2006
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030406

Because of the nature of the analysis used in this study [1], no conclusion is possible. There are plenty of examples in the literature demonstrating the “ecological fallacy”. Studies such as this have very little utility other than to generate hypotheses. I tend to think that this association is a marker for greater recognition and treatment for depression. However, it’s a brave epidemiologist who would draw any conclusions at all from an ecological association such as this where the outcome is relatively rare.


  1. 1. Milane MS, Suchard MA, Wong ML, Licinio J (2006) Modeling of the temporal patterns of fluoxetine prescriptions and suicide rates in the United States. PLoS Med 3: e190. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030190.