I came across and interesting report today, published on the BBC website here. In essence, this study found that in a large group of women, the more light they tended to have in their bedrooms at night, the heavier they tended to be . This is an ‘epidemiological’ evidence, and does not prove therefore that […]
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The common perception of mammography is that, by detecting breast cancer earlier than it would otherwise be, it saves women’s lives. However, there is quite some evidence to suggest that many women need to be screen for one life to be saved, and on top of this we have adverse effects such as over-diagnosis (the […]
The concept behind screening for cancer is that earlier detection will lead to more timely and more effective treatment. However, objective analysis tends to reveal that, generally speaking, large numbers of people need to be screen for one life to be saved from the disease being screened for. For example, using mammography as an example, […]
In the UK and Europe generally, it is recommended that levels of cholesterol in the blood should not be above 5.0 mmol/l (= about 190 mg/dl). We are given the impression that having levels above this puts us at increased risk of heart disease – a major ‘killer’. However, if this is true, it does […]
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterised by multiple cysts in the ovaries which can impair ovulation and therefore fertility. One common feature of the condition is raised levels of the ‘male’ hormone testosterone, which can lead to ‘masculinising’ side effects such as ‘hirsutism’ (abnormal, excessive hair growth), scalp hair loss, and acne. Another […]
Binge eating is a phenomenon where someone may start eating but then find it difficult to stop. I actually think that binge eating is more common than perhaps is recognised. Lots of lots of people will, for instance, find that what started as ‘just one biscuit’ turns into half a packet or that a few […]
We have, for a long time, been wary that certain dietary habits are linked to and perhaps predispose people to cancer. The usual whipping boy here is ‘red meat’ – which is often said to be a potential trigger factor in, say, colon cancer. This belief will tend to add the comfort and security some […]
Previous research has found a link between lower levels of vitamin D and higher body weight, causing some to speculate that vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in obesity. The problem with this sort of evidence is that while it can show a link between vitamin D deficiency and, say, obesity, we can’t tell […]
Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of a variety of health issues including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several forms of cancer. This research may be of some interest, but its nature (so-called ‘epidemiological’ studies) can’t tell us whether or not vitamin D actually protects against these conditions. It […]
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Dr Briffa’s tweets
New post: How accurate are Professor Rory Collins's claims about muscle-related adverse effects of statins? drbriffa.com/2014/08/22/how…
Jerome Burne provides an amusing if slightly depressing analysis of the crown prince of statin therapy - Professor Rory Collins @JeromeJB
British Medical Journal launches fantastic initiative: An opportunity for 'ordinary people' to help set the research agenda @bmj_latest
Study shines light on the fact that sunscreens don't appear to offer real protection against melanoma drbriffa.com/2014/06/13/stu…
Prof Sever invokes 'evidence' in calling for retraction of statin papers. Shame he uses bad science to make his case bmj.com/content/348/bm…
New post: Why won't those calling for retraction of BMJ statin articles actually use some science? drbriffa.com/2014/06/11/clo…
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