Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Go Visit Sandy Szwarc Again

Over at Junkfood Science, Sandy Szwarc debunks the AP coverage of
Links Between Weight & Prostrate Cancer. In the process, she also offers invaluable information on how to recognize "Trojan numbers" in reported studies.
it's one of the strategies used by researchers to inflate the size of a study so it sounds more impressive when the actual number of people with the condition being studied is significantly less.
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When you find a Trojan Number, cautions Dr. Brignell, "these studies are often part of a large data dredge, in which many combinations of condition and potential cause are covered, so that the inevitable coincidental excesses can be identified and claimed as significant."
***
The researchers found no association between the men's body mass index (BMI), or the men's change in weight, and their overall risk for prostate cancer.

In fact, looking at the data, the obese men had about 10% lower overall incidence of prostate cancers and the risk steadily dropped as BMIs increased
Do go over and check out Sandy's complete article, especially if you have any interest at all in prostrate cancer; men should be aware of conditions that affect their own health and women should be aware of the things that affect their husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers. If you are a woman with no men in your life at all, this post is excellent education on how studies get distorted and findings "tweaked" to suit hidden agendas.

1 comment:

Py Korry said...

I did read that article in the paper today, and well, all I can say is that I don't have to go on that diet I've been talking about. :-)