No, An Apple A Day Won’t Keep The Doctor Away

No, an apple a day does not appear to keep the doctor away. But, a new study semi-seriously suggests, it may keep the pharmacist away. The study serves as an instructive and humorous way to look at the perpetually thorny problem of how to best understand and make use of findings from observational studies. As this new paper makes clear,…

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Cardiovascular Disease Declines in Rich Countries but Grows Elsewhere

A new Global Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Atlas portrays a divided world where rich countries are gradually freeing themselves from the yoke of CVD but where many poor and middle-income countries are still struggling. Ischemic heart disease and stroke were the two biggest contributors to the global burden of disease in 2010, accounting for 5.2% and 4.1%,…

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Exercise And The Limitations Of Observational Studies

Last week I wrote twice about exercise. Strictly speaking, both stories were complete lies. The first story was about a study published in the Lancet which analyzed data from more than 10,000 patients at 2 VA Medical Centers and found that patients with high fitness levels were less likely to die than patients with low fitness levels. The pattern held…

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