Absolute risk versus relative risk: Why you need to know the difference

  Six years ago, the airwaves were alive with Lipitor ads. Lipitor, a statin and the largest selling drug in the world at that time, was being challenged by other less expensive statins that had gone off patent, so Pfizer, the manufacturer, was blanketing the media in an effort to keep sales humming. Pfizer had […]

Statin madness

  The statin madness infecting the greater part of the tribe of physicians has finally reached out and touched me personally. We all hear horror stories about all kinds of occurrences, but, although we feel empathy for the victims, we don’t truly understand until it happens to us directly. I’ve railed in numerous posts and […]

Statins and diabetes

In the Jan 9, 2012 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine in the Online First section an article appeared showing that women studied as part of the Women’s Health Initiative who were on statin drugs during the study developed diabetes at greater rates than those who were not on these drugs.  According to the statistical […]

The pitiful state of medical ignorance

In 1976 the classic film Network starred Peter Finch as crazed anchorman Howard Beale who launched into his now-famous rant “I’m mad as hell…” on air and galvanized movie goers everywhere.  Even though Howard Beale is fictional, I often share his sentiments. I got a call yesterday from an acquaintance who wanted to get together […]

The Statinator Paradox

Pity the poor lipophobes and statinators.  They’ve just taken another grievous wound to their favorite theory and haven’t even got sense enough to know it.  In fact, not only do they not have sense enough to realize they’ve taken the hit, they’re actually crowing about it. The current issue of the Journal of the American […]

Statinators spill the beans

Oftentimes people become so fixed in their thinking – and in their belief that everyone else thinks the same way – that they unwittingly raise the curtain and expose the wizard of their flawed thinking, showing it for what it really is.  Statinators have done just that in an article in the current issue of […]

The adherer effect

  As if trying to pull meaning out of the medical literature weren’t difficult enough as it is, a new study demonstrates yet another obstacle to easy understanding: the adherer effect. We’ve all seen the headlines.  Statins improve bone health.  Statins prevent cancer.  Statins make us smarter.  Low-fat diets improve longevity.  All these headlines and […]

Snake oil comes in all kinds of bottles

Snake oil comes in many guises, most of which exist to reduce the contents of one’s purse.  Last week an Associated Press writer detailed how the government spent $2.5 billion of our money to test various so-called alternative health remedies, most of which would be considered snake oil by mainstream medicine, and came up virtually […]