Observational Studies and Experimental Studies

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] Research studies can be divided into two types: observational studies and experimental studies. Observational studies simply observe the effect of a variable in a population. They can assess the strength of a relationship, for instance between dietary

Estudios observacionales y estudios experimentales

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Los estudios de investigación médica se pueden dividir en dos tipos: observacionales y experimentales. Los estudios observacionales simplemente observan el efecto de una variable en una población. Pueden evaluar la fuerza de una relación, por ejemplo, entre factores dietéticos y enfermedades.

A Blood Test for Fibromyalgia?

The FM/a test is advertised as a definitive test to diagnose fibromyalgia. It isn’t definitive. It is expensive. It has not been shown to change patient outcomes. I was surprised to learn that there is a blood test to diagnose fibromyalgia, the FM/a test. Is it accurate? Is it useful? Fibromyalgia is still a disputed

Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

I could have chosen a prescription eye drop for my dry eyes. I decided not to. Here’s why. Dry eyes can have many causes: disease, medications, environmental irritants, or just age. Tear production tends to decrease as we get older. My husband (age 80) and I (age 75) were both diagnosed with dry eyes by

¿La fluoración del agua corriente hace que los niños sean menos inteligentes?

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades nombraron a la fluoración del agua comunitaria como uno de los diez mayores logros de la salud pública del siglo XX. En una declaración reciente, la Asociación Dental Americana (ADA) enfatizó

Does Public Water Fluoridation Make Children Less Intelligent?

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. In a recent statement, the American Dental Association (ADA) stressed that it is “committed to fluoridation of public water

A New Medication to Combat Obesity

New study in The New England Journal of Medicine finds impressive evidence that weekly semaglutide injections produce clinically significant weight loss as well as many other benefits, approaching the improvements seen with weight loss surgery. Not a definitive answer to obesity, but a very encouraging step in the right direction. Science works. Science works. The rapid development

Hepatitis C Vaccine Fails Testing

A vaccine regimen intended to prevent chronic HCV infection was tested in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. It failed. The incidence of chronic HCV infection was the same in the vaccinated group as in the placebo group. Hepatitis C is a virus that has infected millions of people worldwide. In 75-85% of cases, the infection becomes

‘Clinically Tested’—What Does That Mean?

They used to call useless treatments “snake oil.” We don’t hear that term anymore; now they may be called “dietary supplements” or “natural remedies.” A dietary supplement may contain a single herb or a combination of several ingredients. The ads frequently say they have been “clinically tested” or “clinically proven.” Do you believe that? I

Statin Side Effects Revisited

Patients on statins frequently report muscle pain and other side effects, but controlled studies have shown side effects are not more frequent than with placebo. Why this discrepancy? A new study sheds some light. His muscles hurt. Is it from statins or some other cause? Something strange is going on. People who take statins frequently

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