150 Seconds: The Future of Bio-medical Research is a Dark, Dark Place


This week, in 150 Seconds, I discuss a study that is rocking the epidemiology world, and making researchers fear for their very livelihood.

Where Have All the Geeks Gone? | Medpage Today.

Can taking a vitamin keep you from falling?


Probably not.  In the below video, I analyze a recent study that looked at the effect of Vitamin D on falls in older women.

Analysis in 150 Seconds: Vitamin D, Exercise, and Falls | Medpage Today.

Breast Biopsy Correct Only 75% of the Time?


An article in JAMA suggests that pathologists only get the “right” diagnosis 75% of the time when they examine breast biopsy slides. But the study was designed to highlight mis-diagnosis.  Here’s my take in 150 seconds:

Analysis in 150 Seconds: Breast Biopsies | Medpage Today.

Tasting Wine, Statistically


I recently wrote a post for medpagetoday.com that used our annual “Statistical Wine Tasting” party as a platform to discuss rank-based statistics.

You can find the post here.

For those of you interested in hosting your own wine tasting party, I’ve uploaded a Participation template and a Template Excel File that you can fill in.  You’ll need some statistical software to get the results, but I’m happy to do it for you if you don’t mind me using your data to compile a big analysis!

Happy tasting!



Does vegetarianism prevent colon cancer? Maybe… but I’ve got a better lifestyle change for you.



An article appearing in JAMA internal medicine looked at around 100,000 Seventh-day adventists, and found that ht risk of colorectal cancer was significantly reduced among those who ate a vegetarian diet.  But beware of large studies, folks – this statistically significant result isn’t terribly clinically meaningful.  You’d have to change 5300 people into vegetarians to prevent one case of colon cancer per year.  Interestingly, you’d only need to convert 3000 people to Seventh-day Adventism to get the same benefit.

See my video on medpagetoday.com:

Analysis in 150 Seconds: Diet and Colorectal Cancer Risk

Exercise is good. But is intense exercise good?

Тестирование на третбане

This week in 150 seconds, I took a look at a randomized trial appearing in the Annals of Internal Medicine that looked at how exercise intensity might affect waist circumference.  The bottom line?  Anything is better than nothing.  The study was marred by a high drop-out rate, but this is par for the course in exercise studies.  Overall, the weight of the evidence continues to favor getting a move on.

Video below:

Workouts for Weight Loss: How Much is Enough? | Medpage Today.

We performed a randomized trial to see if electronic alerts for AKI would improve patient outcomes… the results surprised us

The full paper is online, but the quick version is that alerts for AKI did not improve clinical outcomes for AKI patients.  Not a bit.

What’s worse, in at least one group of patients, the alerts increased the rate of renal consult and the rate of dialysis.  For me, this was a lesson in unintended consequences, and a reminder of why randomized trials are so important.

See the full story at The Lancet:

Automated, electronic alerts for acute kidney injury: a single-blind, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial – The Lancet.

How Risky Is Arsenic in Baby Formula? | Medpage Today


A study out of Dartmouth and the NIH suggest that babies who are formula-fed are exposed to more arsenic than breast-fed babies. Here’s a link to the study results.

For my commentary, in 150 seconds, click below:

How Risky Is Arsenic in Baby Formula? | Medpage Today.

Fusobacterium necrophorum may be responsible for more cases of sore throat than Strep – and there’s no test for it.


In this video, I discuss a recent article appearing in the Annals of Internal Medicine that documents an emerging bacterial cause of sore throat.  But should we treat it aggressively?


Check out my video commentary:

New Sore Throat Player, but There’s a Catch | Medpage Today.

Adjustment is a lie. Or how I’ve never seen a linear relationship in any aspect of biology.

We researchers “adjust” our observational data all the time.  And we should  But we often apply a simple linear model when we adjust, which is almost always wrong.

Read more:

The Methods Man: Devil in the (Adjusted) Data | Medpage Today.

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