A nationally known cardiologist who touched off a furor by claiming thousands of joggers are killed by automobiles each year said Thursday his figures were in error.
"It was my fault," said Dr. George E. Burch, who is with Tulane University School of Medicine and Charity Hospital of Louisiana in New Orleans. "It will be corrected."
Burch, in a telephone interview, said he used figures for all pedestrian deaths instead of just those for joggers when he wrote an anti-jogging editorial in the March issue of the American Heart Journal. He called jogging "a dangerous fad."
"The American Automobile Association reports that 8,300 joggers in the U.S.A. have been killed by automobiles and over 100,000 injured during 1977," Burch wrote.
Dr. Peter G. Hanson, a specialist in sports medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Burch's claim caused "quite a furor" at a recent meeting of the American Medical Joggers Association. The physician-joggers met in Boston just prior tothe recent marathon.
"The figure was obviously way too high," said Hanson. He said doctors from around the country were challenging Burch.
Many physicians who saw the editorial contacted the American Automobile Association and asked for verification of the figures used by Burch. The AAA, Checked and found the death and injury figure was for all pedestrians, not just joggers, and that no seperate data is kept on jogger accidents.
Burch, editor of the Journal, said he would put a correction in the nextissue the official publication of the American Heart Association.