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John R.

Most of what I post is an attempt to bring epidemiologists down to earth
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Posting suspended After r ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Posting suspended After repeating almost daily  for 8 years some version of the simple truth that correlation is not causation, I have had enough.   I expect to be post ... Read on »
Changing dietary "wisdom" ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Changing dietary "wisdom" Cut sugar intake by half, eat seven or nine portions of fruit and vegetables a day rather than five, avoid protein, shun low-fat foods – these ... Read on »
Pregnant women who take SS ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Pregnant women who take SSRI antidepressants are three times more likely to have a child with autism This is just correlational stuff.  The effects could be due to th ... Read on »
Food for thought in fad diet ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Food for thought in fad diets Very interesting point below that most proposed diets have a lot in common  -- a large degree of "consensus".  Consensus is not science ho ... Read on »
Woman who lived on just CHIP ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Woman who lived on just CHIPS for 15 years No dietary correctness there -- but she got by fairly well.  It may show how nutritious the humble potato is A woman w ... Read on »
War on salt has cut heart de ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine War on salt has cut heart deaths (?) Do I have to say it again?  Correlation does not prove causation.  The only salt-related deaths I know of are from TOO LITTLE salt. ... Read on »
Green tea CAN make you cleve ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Green tea CAN make you clever: Drink improves memory and could help treat dementia (?) A very small study (N=12!) using an odd measure of cognitive functioning.  Journa ... Read on »
Emissions from diesel can ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Emissions from diesel can damage children's brains and increase the risk of autism and schizophrenia, scientists warn This is an old chestnut.  This appears to be a b ... Read on »
Oral Zinc for the Common C ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Oral Zinc for the Common Cold The Cochrane study below is properly cautious but it seems that zinc does do some good.  The result when zinc was used to prevent colds ... Read on »
Cochrane condemns antivirals ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Cochrane condemns antivirals Cochrane evaluations are not foolproof.  There is always the GIGO problem.  But Cochrane surveys are normally as good as we get The £653 ... Read on »
Painkillers linked to higher ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Painkillers linked to higher risk of stroke: Alert over prescription medicines used by millions I am afraid that this is just another correlational study which takes no ... Read on »
Why so-called 'superfoods' c ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Why so-called 'superfoods' could be BAD for you: Nutritionist says kale can send your thyroid haywire and quinoa irritates the gut They are hailed as the key to health, ... Read on »
Could watermelon reduce high ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Could watermelon reduce high blood pressure? Fruit could slash the risk of heart attacks in obese people A very small experiment of unknown generalizability Watermel ... Read on »
Pot-smoking students 'perfor ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Pot-smoking students 'perform better academically' than those who smoke tobacco Because tobacco smoking is mostly working class People traditionally think of the stu ... Read on »
Vegetarians are slimmer but ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Vegetarians are slimmer but sicker Which is interesting, though not really surprising.  More interesting is that the various permutations of meat-eating did not seem to ... Read on »
Children who watch less TV a ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Children who watch less TV are better behaved, slimmer and do better at school, researchers claim Because they are middle class, not because of the amount of TV they wa ... Read on »
Caveman diet twice as effect ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Caveman diet twice as effective as modern diets The “caveman” diet popular with celebrities from Uma Thurman to Tom Jones has been given the seal of approval by Swe ... Read on »
How statins could boost yo ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine How statins could boost your love life: Cholesterol lowering drugs 'reduce erectile dysfunction' This is self-report data so should be treated with caution Statins ... Read on »
Diet pop can also give you d ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Diet pop can also give you diabetes Rubbish.  Probable class effect.  Poor people drink more pop and have worse health anyhow Older women who drink two or more diet ... Read on »
Eating fruit and vegetables ... by John R. Posted in: Blog Posts in General Medicine Eating fruit and vegetables can stop you having a heart attack – but only if you are a WOMAN The fact that it applied to women only suggests that it is a random result. ... Read on »