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Last Week In Science Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.

 

Mammography and the acute discomfort of change (David Gorski)
Clinicians are slow to embrace new findings from research. Two new studies cast more doubt on the standard guidelines for screening mammography. Overdiagnosis is a problem, and we have no data on woman over age 75. It’s frustrating for doctors who have to decide whether to stick to existing guidelines until new ones are issued based on new evidence or to use their own judgment about individual patients.

Ridiculous Warning from Chiropractors About Alleged Health Effects of Texting (Harriet Hall)
A chiropractic organization has warned that using mobile phones for texting could cause hyperkyphosis and shorten your life, and that poor posture is as big a health risk as obesity. They are wrong about these and a lot of the other claims on their website. They don’t even mention the real danger of texting: accidents that occur when people pay more attention to their phone than to traffic.

Another Damning Homeopathy Report (Steven Novella)
Homeopathy is nonsense. A new report from Australia confirms what we already knew:  the evidence shows it does not work. There is no rational justification for further investment in this pre-scientific and disproved notion.

New evidence, same conclusion: Tamiflu only modestly useful for influenza (Scott Gavura)
The drug Tamiflu is recommended for prevention and treatment of influenza and is stockpiled for use in a pandemic. Unpublished research has now been added to the dataset, but it hasn’t changed what we already knew. The benefits of Tamiflu are limited, but it may have a role in selected patients and in preventing the spread of influenza.

Amber Waves of Woo (John Snyder)
Teething necklaces made of amber beads continue to be popular. The alleged mechanisms of action range from the hilarious (“activates the solar plexus and root chakra”) to the just barely plausible. There is no evidence that they work and no reason to think they might work. And necklaces are hazardous to young children: they could cause strangulation.