Saturday, September 22, 2007

Scientists agree......epidemiological studies are worthless

Article found here:

Stan Young, a statistician at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C. "He (the average person) reads about coffee causing and not causing cancer -- so many contradictory findings he begins to think, 'I don't trust anything these scientists are saying.' "

These critics say the reason this keeps happening is simple: Far too many of these epidemiological studies -- in which the habits and other factors of large populations of people are tracked, sometimes for years -- are wrong and should be ignored.

In fact, some of these critics say, more than half of all epidemiological studies are incorrect.

The studies can be influential. Often, in response to them, members of the public will go out and dose themselves with this vitamin or that foodstuff.

And the studies also influence medical practice -- doctors, the critics note, encouraged women to take hormones after menopause long before their effects were tested in randomized clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research.

Some of epidemiology's critics are calling for stricter standards before such studies get reported in medical journals or in the popular press.

Young, one of the foremost critics, argues that epidemiological studies are so often wrong that they are coming close to being worthless.

And remember it is these "worthless studies" that lawmakers based their smoking ban laws upon.....a seemingly harmless trend until you realize the number of businesses and jobs eliminated in just one metropolitan area.

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