2

[Newsweek][1] claims a study shows a link between ADHD and fluoridated water.

New research shows there is a strong correlation between water fluoridation and the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, in the United States.

The [study][2], published in Environmental Health, concludes:

State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status. A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.

Dr Peyet, a dentist, [claims][3] this is simply a correlation, which does not prove causation, and that the science is bad.

Dr Ken Perrott, a scientific blogger at [Open Parachute][4] claims this is an example of poor quality peer-review:

This is one example of peer-review and paper acceptance which brings into question the idea of using publication and peer-review as endorsement of a study’s quality.

My question is, who's right?

  1. http://www.newsweek.com/water-fluoridation-linked-higher-adhd-rates-312748
  2. http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1
  3. http://www.smilesbypayet.com/2015/03/water-fluoridation-does-not-increase-adhd/
  4. https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/poor-peer-review-a-case-study/
  • 2
    I'm confused: The study says there is correlation, but no proof of causation. Newsweek says the study (and other scientists) say there is correlation, but no proof of causation. Dr Peyet says there may be correlation but no proof of causation. Dr Perrot says there may be correlation, but no proof of causation. What is your question? – Oddthinking Jun 11 '16 at 9:22
  • @Oddthinking So OP has to edit is post so that one claim or the other is presented, and then that claim can be assessed? – Revetahw Jun 11 '16 at 10:51
  • @Fiksdal: The basic concept for this site is that a newspaper/celebrity (or lots of regular folk) make a claim, that the OP is doubtful about, and we assess if it is true using empirical evidence. In this case, the claim was presented as though there was a study claiming causality and bloggers saying it wasn't true. However, no-one claims causality (that I can see); so that is a strawman. (The bloggers still dismiss it as bad science, so there may still be a good question in here.) – Oddthinking Jun 11 '16 at 12:10
  • @Oddthinking So if I understand correctly: Presenting a proper academic study and its conclusions for scrutiny is off-topic here. But presenting what some celebrities or journalists claim is on-topic. So if OP edits out the scientific claims, and sticks to the claims made by laymen, it will be on-topic? – Revetahw Jun 11 '16 at 12:16
  • @Fiksdal: Let's take this to chat. – Oddthinking Jun 11 '16 at 12:20

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