Here’s another newspaper column that helps readers scrutinize the quality of evidence behind claims made for health care interventions.
The Washington Post’s periodic “Quick Study” feature does a nice job in a small space. The most recent column looked at the latest study of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in apparently healthy people. Each column includes some caveats, as in this case:
CAVEATS The study did not differentiate between specific statins or dosages, nor did it determine if the drugs might have any longer-term effect.
And each column ends with this important reminder:
The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, conclusive evidence about a treatment’s effectiveness is rarely found in a single study. Anyone considering changing or beginning treatment of any kind should consult with a physician.
In the past, I’ve also praised Jeremy Singer-Vine’s Research Report columnin the Wall Street Journal.
I wish more newspapers would help readers scrutinize claims and evidence in this way. Kudos to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.