“Evidence based medicine” should, surely, mean all drugs have been rigorously tested. But after 20 years as a health journalist I’m still shocked at how evidence for harm can be hidden and evidence for benefit boosted.
We are all being encouraged to take more responsibility for our own health and many of us would like to use non-drug treatments and life-style changes as well. But gathering evidence that it works is more complicated. Even when it is there it can be ignored.
This is the place to check for cases where the evidence is lacking or has been fudged and to discuss what needs to be done to make it better.
December 10, 2013
Like transparency, equality and democracy in politics, prevention of disease is a motherhood and apple pie issue in medicine– everyone is in favour of it, so long as it doesn’t involve actually doing anything as committed as mounting a serious public health programme or spending millions on research. This truism takes on a new urgency […]
November 28, 2013
If you’re familiar with the low carbohydrate, Atkins-type diet – variously known as the paleo diet, the Zone diet, the South Beach diet or the ketogenic diet- you are probably also aware that it is pretty controversial. So is it a great way to lose weight and improve your metabolism or is it lacking in […]
November 22, 2013
For years the official advice put out by Cancer Research UK for preventing skin cancer more closely resembled a deeply eccentric project to turn us into a nation of vampires rather than a sensible evidence-based public health policy. Their SunSmart advice used to recommend that sunny days in Britain posed such a threat that they […]
November 17, 2013
There has long been a surreal quality to cholesterol lowering drugs; prescriptions in the millions, earnings in the billions and yet a growing evidence that if you are taking them to prevent your first heart attack, unless you are one of the lucky ones – one in 1/300, 1/500, 1/700; the figures vary – they […]
October 31, 2013
It’s been a great week if you don’t believe that eating a low fat diet is the way to stay healthy and protect your heart. It’s also been good if you are sceptical about statins being a sensible way of cutting your risk of a heart attack when you haven’t had one. Each of these radical […]