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Lancet accused of making up mortality figures

SaltSensibility: Make up your own number; they did

The news media's been reporting a paper in The Lancet this past week that purports to "prove" that salt produces chronic disease mortality, killing 8.5 million persons around the world. As the headline writers penned, that would be a serious condition, indeed, if it were true. But a closer look shows the authors engaged in the same statistical sleight-of-hand that was on display at the FDA hearing a couple weeks ago.

No matter how you quantify the enormous costs associated with chronic disease and, in this case, heart disease, the key to assessing the veracity of the numbers associated with salt is the linkage. Simply put, there is none.......

....the authors cite one of two studies of salt reduction in Finland. The study they don't report is the health outcomes of Finland over the year it reduced its citizens' salt intake. Absent any control, the numbers show improvement, but compared with other countries over the years, Finland lagged behind those countries that did NOT reduce salt .

That The Lancet would choose to publish this reflects the policy preference on the author, not a substantive contribution to public health nutrition policy.

Making up the numbers to make a computer model predict the outcome you want to push as public policy, - that sounds familiar....

Comments

I no longer listen to anything that comes out of the medical/health lobby,when you dig a bit deeper you invariably find some agenda is being pushed to ban something "for our own good", well screw that,a man has to die of something and i intend to enjoy all of those lovely but bad for me pleasures and the medical profession can kiss my arse.

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