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



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.

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Is a Firm Handshake the New Fountain of Youth?



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.

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



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.

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


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.

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The Obesity Paradox is Neither Obesity nor a Paradox…. Discuss.


Want to go right to the video version?  Click here.

It’s called “the obesity paradox”.  Basically, it’s the observation that in many chronic disease states, people who are heavier seem to live longer than those who are lighter.

This is a finding that is ripe for jumping to conclusions, and headlines often imply that years of your physician telling you to lose a little weight can now be safely ignored.

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Reducing C-sections, by any means necessary.


Canadian researchers performed a large, cluster-randomized trial to try to reduce C-section rates in Quebec. The intervention was multi-faceted, ranging from education to auditing with physician feedback.  A great example of a trial with a statistically significant, yet very discouraging results.  The original article appears in the NEJM.

My take in 150 Seconds can be found here.


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What Television Can Teach Us about Survival Analysis


This months methods man blog attempts to crystallize survival analysis without resorting to talking about cancer.  There’s a first for everything…

Survival Article

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Possible link between maternal diabetes and autism spectrum disorders


An article appearing online now in JAMA used the huge Kaiser-Permanente database to determine that maternal diabetes increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders by almost a factor of 2.  My take below, in 150 seconds.

Analysis in 150 Seconds: Maternal Diabetes and Autism | Medpage Today.

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Arts, Crafts, and Dementia in the Elderly – Is timing everything?



This week in 150Seconds, I take on a recent study in the journal of Neurology that examined the effects of Arts, Crafts, and Computer use on the development of mild cognitive impairment in the elderly.  It’s a nice study, but an error in the interpretation of subgroup analyses is one I see frequently, and decided to discuss in the following video:

MedPage Today: 150 Seconds – MCI

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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.

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