Search Results for "observational research"
Licorice & pregnancy…caffeine & longer life: Distorted news stories about observational research
Step back. Breathe deeply. Join us in sucking in some recent research news coverage. Coughing on cacophony of coffee/caffeine news USA Today reported, “Caffeine may lead to a longer life.” Or, it may not, the story could just as easily–and accurately– have reported. Instead, it makes a leap to this news-you-can use assertion: “Perk up. That daily cup […]
Caffeine and dementia risk: news release ignores limitations of observational research
A word about limitations of observational studies and a mention of the vast amount of past research into caffeine and dementia were warranted — but omitted.
For women, caffeine could be ally in warding off dementia
Weak reporting of limitations of observational research
A research letter in this week’s JAMA Internal Medicine addresses an issue that has become a pet peeve of ours: the failure of medical journal articles, journal news releases, and subsequent news releases, to address the limitations of observational studies. Observational studies, although important, cannot prove cause-and-effect; they can show statistical association but that does not […]1
Coffee & melanoma: add to annals of abused translation of observational research
The annals of confusing news stories about observational studies showing an association between coffee and…fill in the blank…have a new entry. Do a Google search for “coffee and melanoma” and you’ll get thousands of returns. Many of these stories inappropriately used causal language – suggesting that a cause-and-effect had been proven, when it hadn’t. TIME, […]
Observational study can’t prove surgery better than more conservative prostate cancer treatment
But the release did a nice job of quantifying what researchers found and describing the harms of more aggressive prostate cancer treatment.
Combo therapy of prostatectomy plus radiotherapy may improve survival in prostate cancer
Observational study on testosterone replacement therapy for COPD doesn’t prove cause and effect
More information on the harms, costs and conflicts of interests of the researchers would have made this a better news release.
Testosterone replacement therapy may slow the progression of COPD
Observations about today’s observational studies in the news
We write about the limitations of drawing conclusions from observational studies quite a bit. Why? Because there are ever more such studies and ever more news stories and PR news releases about such studies. And few include an important discussion of what these studies can do and what they can’t. We want to be very […]
Research recap says medical cannabis safer than opioids in elderly but the study included no such comparison
The two major outcomes measured in this study (pain control and quality of life) were measured using questionnaires which are highly subjective and difficult to reproduce. There was no control or comparison group.
Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than Opioids
NY Times hails discovery of new genetic heart disease risk factor, but what about researchers’ industry ties?
Earlier this week, The New York Times introduced the American public to a potential new heart disease risk factor involving mutated stem cells, known as “CHIP” (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential). The enthusiastic story by journalist Gina Kolata makes for a fascinating read about some fascinating science. The gist is that in some people, mutated stem cells […]
Eat more fish for higher IQ? Announcement skips limitations of an observational study
Observational studies that draw connections between health and food intake sometimes raise more questions than answers and need to be treated with a high degree of caution.
Weekly fish consumption linked to better sleep, higher IQ
BuzzFeed story on IUDs and cervical cancer warns readers ‘these are observational studies’
Yet it didn’t give enough details on how cervical cancer rates compared among groups.
IUDs Are Linked To A Lower Cervical Cancer Risk, Study Finds
Observational study on cooling treatment for reducing epilepsy in newborns: what’s new?
Therapeutic hypothermia for newborns deprived of oxygen at birth is a new but fairly well adopted practice. We’re not sure how this observational study sets this research apart.
Cooling treatment reduces epilepsy in children
Headlines claim light drinking during pregnancy is ‘okay’ — researchers say that’s not okay
A study about alcohol use during pregnancy kicked up major media waves last weekend—but was all that frothy coverage warranted? It was another lesson in the pitfalls of reporting on scientific research, as headlines around the world issued some potentially dangerous misinformation. The Times of London, one of the largest daily newspapers in the UK, […]
Do ADHD meds prevent future substance abuse? An observational study can’t prove that.
Multiple conflicts of interest and no mention of the limitations of observational studies make this a problematic news release.
ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults
‘Aspirin can lower risk of breast cancer’ – No mention that this was an observational study
This study found an association between aspirin use and lower rates of breast cancer, but not whether the use of aspirin was actually responsible for lower rates of breast cancer — an important distinction.