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End of Clinical Research Block and More on PD Article

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:03pm
Our research proposals and research talk slides were due today, and we had our last stats group project presentations yesterday, so this has been a crazy and hectic week. I got my proposal turned in yesterday and my slides done this morning--I was on version number five by the time I turned them in to the research office. The funniest part about this whole thing, once I got over feeling annoyed about having to redo my slides yet again, is that my preceptor has made so many corrections to my slides by this point that he is now correcting his own corrections!

We talked about Steve Nissen's controversial meta-analysis of rosiglitazone (Avandia) this morning during journal club. Coverage of his article was all over the news a few months ago, because he found that there was a 43% increase in the relative risk of heart attacks in diabetic people taking Avandia. It was an interesting article in its own right because we had a very good discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of meta-analyses in general. (A meta-analysis takes several articles and pools their results together to come up with an overall set of conclusions.) But of course this one was particularly interesting since Dr. Nissen is a very prominent person and works here at the Clinic.

The second article was interesting also, though not quite as political. In that one, the authors were trying to calculate whether it made sense to screen patients' genogypes before giving them a type of drug called an ACE inhibitor. (ACE inhibitors are used to decrease blood pressure and improve kidney function.) The authors did some calculations and found that it does make sense to screen patients....assuming, of course, that their assumptions were correct. ;-)

There isn't much new information for me to report concerning Wednesday's Plain Dealer article. Yesterday there was an editorial in the PD commenting on their own article from Wednesday. The Clinic also released a statement in response to the PD article:

Cleveland Clinic has had a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship with Case Western Reserve University to advance research, medical education and other institutional projects. That relationship has not changed and we continue to work collaboratively with the University. Recently, Case announced a new, 50-year, primary affiliation with University Hospitals of Cleveland that strengthened the relationship between those two organizations. At this time, it is unclear how that relationship may impact the Clinic in the future. The Clinic has a number of relationships with colleges and universities across the country and will continue to explore other opportunities as they arise. We cannot comment on specific discussions with other universities. Cleveland Clinic is proud of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and is fully committed to excellence in medical education, research and other scientific programs.
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