The sciences of statistics and systematic analysis applied to the causes of health and disease.

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11
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1answer
399 views

Did an experimental Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) cause the AIDS pandemic?

Aidsorigins.com mentioned in a post that: The oral polio vaccine (OPV) theory of origin of AIDS proposes that an experimental OPV made in a unique manner was administered to nearly one ...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

What is the *causal* link between smoking and lung cancer? [closed]

I have been discussing smoking with a fellow who states that for all the decades of study of the tobacco leaf, still nobody has managed to find what part of the process of smoking the tobacco leaf ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Is Lyme Disease endemic in Australia?

The New South Wales state government's Health department has a fact sheet about Lyme disease: Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Typical symptoms include fever, ...
2
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0answers
220 views

Is the 2014 Ebola outbreak an issue of “national security”? If not contained, is it going to spread around the world? [closed]

I just read an article from Time where President Obama has called containing Ebola a "national-security priority". Near the end of the article, he claims: "If we don’t make that effort now... then it ...
13
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0answers
271 views

Do societies that are less abstemious have more sensible drinking patterns?

Questions about whether alcohol consumption is good for you or not have been asked here before (see Is alcohol beneficial in small amounts? and Recommended alcohol drinking quantity: are they just ...
3
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1answer
204 views

Are medics often incapable of understanding or communicating statistical results to their patients?

A recent news article on the BBC summarises work of Gerd Gigerenzer that argues (my emphasis): ...it's not just that doctors and dentists can't reel off the relevant stats for every treatment ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Do 50% of prostitutes have HIV?

The Prostitution Statistics You Have to Know claims that: 50% of prostitutes throughout the world have contracted the HIV virus (For this statistic it references this BBC news article: The men ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Does the CDC over-report annual flu deaths in the U.S.?

This blog post claims that the CDC over-reports annual flu deaths in the U.S. by 1000x or more, in an effort to sell flu vaccinations. Yet, their own numbers show 500 deaths in 2010, not 36,000. ...
2
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1answer
298 views

Does treating people with mild hypertension improve their outcomes?

There is a reasonably strong relationship between high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular events such s strokes and heart attacks. As a result, conventional wisdom (as expressed here by ...
29
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1answer
1k views

Can oral sex cause throat cancer?

(somebody had to ask this) Micheal Douglas, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, said in a recent interview with the Guardian: Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and ...
7
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4answers
356 views

Do workplace smoking bans reduce the number of heart attacks?

There is a lively debate on the health impact of passive smoking (other questions on skeptics.se are here Does passive smoking kill 600,000 people every year? and here Is secondhand smoke dangerous?). ...
6
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1answer
319 views

Do solar cycles influence life expectancy?

In a paper describing the effects of radiation on the human genome at peaks of solar cycles it is claimed: Those born in peaks of solar cycles lived an average of 1.5 years (CL 1.3-1.7) less than ...
7
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1answer
342 views

Will 25% of people in Western society develop a mental disorder during their life?

In a profile article published in the Cyprus Mail newspaper (Nov. 2012), Dr John Stein, Emeritus Professor of Physiology & Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, claimed: “a quarter of people ...
12
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2answers
403 views

Does passive smoking kill 600,000 people every year?

While reading David Nutt's book on the harms caused by legal and illegal drugs and how to minimise them (Drugs without the hot air), I came across a claim which reminded me of some previous questions ...
3
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0answers
143 views

Did the WHO study show a significant RR of lung cancer, and not a preventative effect?

The WHO released a press release with preliminary finds to the media. After examining the preliminary study, the Telegraph, the Guardian and other newspapers printed articles with headlines like, ...
2
votes
0answers
196 views

Are plastics making us fat and giving us diabetes?

A recent widely reported news story (example report from the Independent) suggested that one explanation for the modern rise in obesity was not too much food or two little exercise but many of ...
10
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1answer
403 views

Is red meat responsible for one in ten early deaths?

The red meat and cancer link has already been addressed here: Does eating meat increase your risk for cancer? But recent reports suggest a broader more worrying relationship to variety of other ...
9
votes
2answers
870 views

Are political leaders from Latin America unusually prone to cancer?

Venezuela's entertaining president, Hugo Chavez, was recently reported to have speculated that the USA has developed a secret technology to give cancer to left-wing leaders in Latin America. I think ...
11
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2answers
727 views

Is there an epidemic of cancer?

It is nearly 50 years since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was published where she popularised a belief that we are all being poisoned by artificial chemicals. For the first time in the history of ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Does eating meat increase your risk for cancer?

I just read an article in the german magazine "Der Spiegel" about a recent study claiming that 40% of all cancers are preventable. The article states specifically that one of the factors is the ...
13
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2answers
592 views

Are most published results relying on measures of statistical significance likely to be false?

This article, linked to by Glen, claims most published results are false. The argument is based on an analysis of how papers relying on statistical significance analyse and report their statistical ...