These are notes I took from the book “Doctoring Data.” Some of the author’s statements are sure to cause anger and disagreement. The first paragragh says it all when it comes to research published today.

  • Dr Marcia Angell – editor of NEJM – “it is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authorized medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of ‘The New England Journal of Medicine.”        
  • Women with higher levels of UVB (sun) exposure had half the breast cancer rates, men had half prostate cancer rates.
  • “Nothing has changed so much in the health care system over the past 25 years as the public’s perception of its own health. The change amounts to a loss of confidence in the human form. The general belief these days seems to be that the body is fundamentally flawed, subject to disintegration at any moment, always on the verge of mortal disease, always in need of continual monitoring and support by health-care professionals. This is a new phenomenon in our society.” Clifton Meador MD
  • John Ionnadis – Paper – why most published research findings are false?   Read It                                                 
  • One prostate screening tool reduces your risk of dying from prostate cancer 20-30%. The other will save one life for every 10,000 people tested. Which would you choose? It’s the same test using different stat interpretation.    Relative mountains are made out of absolute mole hills. It is legal to report the numbers either way.
  • “Our brains and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, an engine that produces beliefs without any respect for what is real or true and what is not. This belief engine selects information from the environment, shapes it, combines it with information from memory, and produces beliefs that are generally consistent with beliefs already held. This system is as capable of generating false beliefs as it is of generating beliefs that are in line with truth.  This system will IGNORE OR REFUTE ANY FACTS/TRUTHS that will refute their current belief system.” And this is why people believe in Advocare, Isagenix or any MLM supplements. No matter how many facts I put in front of them their beliefs don’t change.                                        
  • Studies that claim eating red meat increases heart disease… Those people also smoked the most, exercised the least, ate far more calories and were more likely to have diabetes. But red meat gets the blame?
  • Heart Protection Study – Headline claims stating will save 50,000 lives per year. What the numbers really show is that if 200 people take statins for a year one person will live a couple extra months.
  • Ipillimumab – 4 injections at 20,000 pounds each. It extends life about 3.6 months.
  • You can not save a life. You can only delay death.
  • People are often terrified of very unlikely things to happen, but then they’ll go drive a car.
  • Hippos kill more people than sharks, lions, tigers, alligators, and crocs combined.
  • No study ever done has shown that statins affect the overall mortality of women. Therefore, not a single woman should be on a statin. 
  • The reason why the rate of deaths from heart disease went down in the pre statin chol lowering trials is because the rate of death from other causes went up. Cholesterol drugs may change what is written on the death cert but it won’t change the date. People on statins do not live longer than people who don’t take them.    
  • If overall mortality isn’t mentioned in a study, then overall mortality was unchanged. It is intentionally left out.
  • There has never been a randomized controlled study on the benefits of cervical cancer screening done anywhere – ever.
  • Curing of cancer doesn’t actually mean cure. It means you’ve lived 5 years longer. If you catch it earlier your cure rate goes up.
  • When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument, but when he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all forces of logic and reason.
  • “I know that most men, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth, it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions of which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” It is hard to admit being wrong. The FDA dietary guidelines have been wrong for decades. 
  • The best-selling drug of all time Lipitor – has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks.
  • Encainide and flecainide are very good at suppressing arrhythmias on an ECG. When an outcome study was finally done it had to be stopped early because they were killing people. It is estimated these drugs killed over 60,000 people. More than Americans killed in Vietnam. How many common treatments today are done without any evidence to support them? 
  • Avandia increased heart attack by 43% and death from cardio causes by 64%. Banned in Europe but not the US.
  • No randomized trial has ever demonstrated any reduction of the risk of either overall or cardiovascular death by reducing systolic blood pressure from our thresholds below 140. It is widely believed that randomized studies have proved that lowering BP is beneficial. Actually, that is not true….
  • Pleiotropic effects – using drugs for other causes, aspirin for pain, then heart protection, then cancer.
  • Beta blockers cause diabetes
  • For years Barry  Marshall and Robbi Warren were ridiculed for claiming bacteria can cause an ulcer. He even drank the bacteria to prove it. Eventually they won a Nobel prize.
  • One study not funded by drug companies (ALLHAT-LLT) study. Statins did not reduce all cause mortality or fatal or non fatal coronary heart disease.
  • In 1952 there were 106 diagnosible mental disorders. Now we have 374 virtually all of which have a drug attached.
  • GSK was fined $3 billion for covering up data on paxil increased suicide in children.
  • Bed rest killed millions of people from 1912 to the 60’s. What common advice is killing millions today? Eat grains avoid fats…..
  • Infarct – heart muscle doesn’t actually die. It turns to a form of scar tissue.
  • Collateral circulation – the ability of the heart to grow new blood vessels around blocked ones. There is no data to support bypass surgery.
  • Reducing drugs in the elderly showed reduced mortality rates, reduced acute complications, lower costs and improved quality of living.
  • The most common procedure in the 20’s was toxic colon removal.
  • 6 billion dollars are spent every year on bariatric surgery in the US. Which is, surgical portion control. After 1 year 4.6% were dead. 
  • John snow – cured cholera by removing a handle off a water pump. Look for the cause, don’t treat symptoms. 
  • The miasma theory of infection – spread by smells.
  • Hannah polling given 13 million for vaccine causing her autism.
  • Guidelines are based on evidence, almost without exception, paid for, run, and controlled by drug companies.
  • About 80% of what you are about to be taught has no clinical evidence whatsoever. Of the rest, about 50% is so biased you should ignore it. Of the remaining 10%, about 50% will be proven wrong in the future. Advice to Medical Students
  • Higher cholesterol levels becomes more important as you become older.