Kevin Lomangino is the managing editor of HealthNewsReview.org. He tweets as @KLomangino.
Our toolkit is chock full of resources designed to help journalists and the public think smarter about health care.
And we just added a brand new primer: 3 reasons why you should be suspicious of study ‘subgroup’ results.
Why do we need to know about subgroups?
Because they’re often touted in news stories and PR releases as evidence that a treatment is effective. But experts warn that these analyses — which involve looking at a small group within a larger study — are subject to serious, sometimes fatal limitations.
And media messages about subgroups rarely explain why these results may be misleading.
Excerpts from the primer:
Researchers who study this issue say, “Subgroup analyses have historically misinformed as much as they have informed.”
I hope you’ll read the entire primer and find out why.