"Quick study" column by Washington Post worth a look

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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.

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