Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blog Assignment #1

Risks Seen in Cholesterol Drug Use in Healthy People

Duff Wilson; March 30, 2010; New York Times

Link to study abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20167359
Study published in Lancet Medical Journal. February 27, 2010. Epub Feb. 16. Copyright Elsevier Ltd.

1. The study that found "that statins could raise a person's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 9 percent" was done by a group of individuals who are members of the British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow UK.

2. The abstract reads "FUNDING: None" which I assume to mean that whatever funding was used came from within the British Heart Foundation.

3. I do not think that this group has an interest in finding a particular result. They are part of a research university and do not appear to be funded by any group that would encourage them to find a particular result.

4. Information on the Methodology is included in the abstract, for which NYTimes.com provides a link. However there is no mention of methodology in the NYTimes.com article. The Methodology in the abstract says, "The group searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Central REgister of Controlled Trials from 1994-2009, for randomised controlled endpoint trials of statins. [They] included only trials with more than 1000 patients, with identical follow-up in both groups and duration of more than 1 year. [They] excluded trials of patients with organ transplants or who needed haemodialsysis. [They] used the I(2) statistic to measure heterogeneity between trials and calculated risk estimates for incident diabetes with random-effect meta-analysis"

5. The results reported in the NYTimes article were reported in a clear manner and were reported responsibly, without error. The study did indeed find that overall, there was a 9% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

6. The NYTimes article did not include any graphs that were relevant to this statistic.

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