Bitter news: citrus fruits linked to higher rates of melanoma.

121207_HOL_Grapefruit.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large

For the video version of this article, click here.

Browsing through article titles this week, my eye caught one from the Journal of Clinical Oncology with the words “melanoma” and “citrus fruit”.  Not worth looking at I thought, clearly a study linking citrus intake with melanoma is hopelessly confounded.  People who eat citrus fruits are probably healthier in general, have better access to care, etc – clearly they’ll have lower melanoma rates.

But then I read the abstract, and, go figure – people consuming more citrus fruits had higher rates of melanoma. This was worth a deeper dive.

Continue reading

Share Button

If drugs for erectile dysfunction cause cancer, would you want to know?

Malignant_melanoma_cns

If this is one of those “ignorance is bliss” situations, read no further…

Continue reading

Share Button

The P-Value is Ruining Medical Science

OK-Let-Do-Math-When-New-Episodes-Actually-Air

The P-value, that most vaunted of metrics. For decades, it has been the standard by which we judge whether studies are positive or negative.  But it has a major, major problem.

I blogged about it this week on medpagetoday.com.

Take a look.

Share Button

You operate on appendicitis, right? Right?!

-Don't_Gamble_with_Appendicitis-_-_NARA_-_514142

For the video version of this post, click here.

If Grey’s Anatomy has taught us anything, it’s that you have to operate on appendicitis. This fact is imbued in the cultural zeitgeist – it’s the first book of the Madeline series for crying out loud. But paradigms, even one as inertial as this one, can shift.

Continue reading

Share Button

Heroes wanted: Will cardiac-arrest alerts come to your town?

heart-attack

For the video version of this post, click here.

If you suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, your chance of surviving is only around 10%. But you can improve those odds dramatically if a bystander initiates CPR before EMS arrives.  Boosting the rates of bystander-initiated CPR, then, has become a major public health focus. But, typically, the means to increase the rate have been simple: train more people. While laudable, training can only reach a small fraction of the community, and the chance that someone in your immediate vicinity has been adequately trained remains small.

Continue reading

Share Button

Antidepressants During Pregnancy and a Rare, Fatal Disease in Newborns

Hospital_newborn_by_Bonnie_Gruenberg7

For the video version of this post, click here.

There’s a reason why so few medications are recommended during pregnancy, and for the most part it’s not because we have evidence that they cause fetal harm. No, the reason so few drugs are recommended in pregnancy is because they’ve never been tested in pregnant women.  With the exception of a few medications explicitly designed for pregnancy, pregnant women are almost universally excluded from clinical trials.

Continue reading

Share Button

The Risk of Venous Clots Differ Depending on Which Oral Contraceptive You Take

Iliac_vein_deep_vein_thrombosis

 

For the video version of this post, click here.

At any given time, there are around 11 million women in the US who are actively taking combined oral contraceptive pills. The first case-report describing a blood-clot in a woman taking the pill was published in 1961, and large epidemiologic studies have since confirmed that the pill increases clot risk, particularly in those who smoke or are above age 35.

Continue reading

Share Button

Is a Firm Handshake the New Fountain of Youth?

punch-316605_1280

 

For the video version of this article, click here.

Normally, in 150 seconds, I give a synopsis of a breaking study – something that just hit the news.  Today, we’re taking a different angle, and tackling a study that has had time to breathe for a while.

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology, or “PURE” study, published in the Lancet reports on the association between grip strength and a variety of bad outcomes ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, to death.

Continue reading

Share Button

Lying, Cheating and Stealing with Statistics: A How-To Guide

OK-Let-Do-Math-When-New-Episodes-Actually-Air

 

If we learned anything from Spiderman, it’s that with great power comes great responsibility. Statistics is a great power – but people continue to misuse it, harming all of us by publishing studies that are not fully supported by the data.

Using the great fake dataset (a bunch of completely random data) I walk you through some of the techniques researchers can use to massage positive results out of a negative study.  Read the full article here.

Share Button

Will EVOO Really Keep Dementia at Bay? Randomized Trial Results Just In.

Vankahvalti

For the video version of this post, click here.

We’ve talked a lot about diet studies here on 150 Seconds. I like to complain about them because most are observational.  People who eat healthy diets are healthier. Randomized trials are better, but unless you’re preparing every meal for the participant, you can never be 100% sure what they are getting.

Continue reading

Share Button

© 2015 The Methods Man

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑