109

Not peer reviewed The researchers from the University of Denver currently have their paper titled Black lives matter protests, social distancing and COVID-19 posted online as an NBER Working Paper. This means the paper HAS NOT gone through peer review and carries the same scientific weight as a blog. To reiterate, while this work may be valid, it has not ...


48

Fox News links to the CDC source which says: CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 34 million flu illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from flu. By "season" they mean the 2019/2020 season. For data on past seasons, see here. Note the illnesses vs deaths here which gives a mortality rate of 0.05%. The usual ...


39

I'd like to tackle a few sets of claims/arguments Wodarg makes in the two videos: (Unknown) baseline prevalence of corona virus infections. Excess mortality / "we wouldn't see anything special" Comparison with Swine Flu when Wodarg was public health officer (Unknown) baseline prevalence of CoV The Glasgow paper he refers to did not look at the general ...


35

A recent study has suggested that effectiveness of placebo treatments increased over the years in the US, in patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Increasing placebo responses over time in U.S. clinical trials of neuropathic pain, Pain, December 2015 - Volume 156 - Issue 12 - p 2616–2626 doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000333. The study itself uses data ...


29

Electronic cigarettes may not be harmless but they are clearly much less harmful than cigarettes Public Health England (PHE) produced a review of e-cigs in the middle of 2015 which came to this conclusion: The role and impact of electronic cigarettes has been one of the great debates in public health in recent years and we commissioned this independent ...


25

We can be extremely confident that a novel virus is spreading and being correctly detected by our tests I'm only going to address claim 2, because the other claims are likely correct but essentially irrelevant because if claim 2 is false the chain of reasoning promptly falls apart. The protocol discussed was tested, and designed, for sensitivity You can ...


18

At this point there isn't much we can say about this but to point to the study itself. I'm a non-expert and I haven't read the entire study, but it seems to me that the researchers are careful to explain their methodology and not to overstate the conclusiveness of their findings. I quote from the conclusion of their paper. This study is the first to ...


16

The number of confirmed deaths due to influenza has been much less than 20,000 for the 2019-2020 flu season through March 5th 2020. According the the US National Center for Health Statistics, the weekly data for influenza deaths so far this season (through the 8th week of 2020) is as follows: Week Deaths 40 (2019) 16 41 16 42 ...


14

No, there is not currently an epidemic of cancer. Instead, cancer rates appear to be holding steady over the long term while other causes of death are dropping dramatically. This appears to be the reason that cancer is now the leading cause of death in developed countries, rather than because cancer rates are rising significantly. In searching for better ...


14

The basic answer is: we don't know. If you look at the original paper, you will find table 2, which shows that the number of people in the Apollo Lunar Astronauts group was 7 (n=7). Of those, 43% (or a total of 3) died from cardiovascular disease. In general you can't use such small sample sizes to draw conclusions in this sort of situation. According to ...


12

The actual research paper Stem cell divisions, somatic mutations, cancer etiology, and cancer prevention Science 24 Mar 2017: Vol. 355, Issue 6331, pp. 1330-1334 says: It is now widely accepted that cancer is the result of the gradual accumulation of driver gene mutations that successively increase cell proliferation (1–3). But what causes these mutations? ...


12

Here are the raw numbers claimed in the article: From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. The study these numbers are based on can be found here. The relevant graph was also posted to ...


12

With the benefit of hindsight (i.e. more data), EuroMOMO now (April 7) shows excess scores for several more countries: The fact that Italy and Spain are in "the top" z-scores should be self-explanatory by now. Original answer below: Besides Dr. Aidely excellent points on PCR reliability and the tracing of covid-19 trees, there is another (very) ...


12

The conclusion of the study is that protests have led to increased social distancing elsewhere which offsets the growth in cases induced by the protests themselves. Firstly, this is akin to saying that a serial killer on the loose isn't contributing to increased murder rates because other people, fearing the chance of running into the serial killer, are ...


11

While it likely depends on definitions of mental disorder and the diagnostic procedure (especially on the eve of a new edition of the DSM), this number is not too high. It is too low. R.V. Bijl á A. Ravelli á G. van Zessen, Prevalence of psychiatric disorder in the general population: results of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (...


10

Depends on what you mean by "better", and what you mean by electronic cigarette. The FDA report that Oddthinking links to addresses the question of whether e-cigarrettes are useful as an aid to kicking nicotine, and I think that the fair answer to that is probably not: e-cig marketing doesn't seem to focus on ceasing to inhale nicotine into your lungs, it ...


10

The thinking is that disrupted sleep results in lower melatonin production which through some unknown mechanism might make the body more vulnerable to the cancers. This is classical clickbait. Even from the bit of the study that they gave, you can see that it was about the health problems of bad sleeping, caused by too much light in the night and possible ...


9

There is good evidence that smoking bans reduce the number of heart attacks. In the meta-analysis "Cardiovascular effect of bans on smoking in public places: a systematic review and meta-analysis" published in 2009 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology the authors state in their conclusion Using 11 reports from 10 study locations, AMI risk ...


9

The meta-analysis and the Guardian article are not talking about the same thing. The specific Guardian claim is [my emphasis]: thousands of unnecessary strokes and heart attacks have occurred ... more than 4,000 premature deaths per year The scientific article you link says: In this systematic review of 9 unique studies of 479 unique patients with ...


8

In short: No. But it is a bit more complicated than that. It is probably a bad way to phrase it like "The more alcohol a society consumes, the fewer alcohol-related problems and alcohol-related deaths (including cirrhosis) it has, […]" This is likely to be a journalistic creativity that as usual cannot make head or tail of the logic of an argument. If you ...


8

When one reviews the comments of the Director General report of IAEA in Aug 2015 to the Tsuda et.al's study, there are valid issues noted which will need to be addressed in the future by Tsuda et.al regarding children living near the Fukushima nuclear meltdown affected by thyroid cancers at a rate 20 to 50 times when compared to children elsewhere . ...


7

Different theories have emerged to hypothesize about origins for the human immunodeficiency infection (HIV) and (AIDS), with theories emerging from coincidental acts to evidently intentional acts. The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) theory is one of those theories. Edward Hooper, is a British writer best known for his book, The River, which investigated the ...


7

If anything, some studies suggest that the present measurement methods underestimate the effects: A reanalysis of the data by Willis et al, restricted to people who live closer to the monitor, reported a doubling of the estimate slope per unit exposure, suggesting substantial downward bias by classical measurement error. The OP argues below that There are ...


6

The short answer is "yes". The studies Here is another description of (I think) the same studies from Leonard Mlodinow's "The Drunkard's Walk": [...] in studies in Germany and the United States, researchers asked physicians to estimate the probability that an asymptomatic woman between the ages of 40 and 50 who has a positive mammogram actually has ...


6

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-01/coronavirus-italy-shows-we-may-be-underestimating-death-toll Mortality in parts of Italy is 5x normal. While most of the cases aren't identified as Covid-19 it would be quite a coincidence if most of them weren't. (I would expect some increase in other causes of death because the hospitals are swamped ...


6

Covid rates have gone up in the USA, not down. The number of cases/day in the USA has grown tremendously in June 2020, after undergoing a somewhat flat or slightly downward trend in April and May. You wrote: One news organization suggested that it may have slowed down the spread of the coronavirus If this is correct, then the above graph would have shown ...


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