Friday, October 1, 2010


"I've lost a study. It's really annoying when that happens, you flick through a patient characteristics table and think, hmmmm, I'll keep that. Then you don't. This was another colorectal cancer and/or polyp study. Probably looking at fiber. It was another of those splits, people who got cancer vs those who didn't. I was reading the baseline patient characteristics. The eye catching parameter was financial income. Below so many thousand dollars (possibly Aussie dollars) of income per year was bad news for colorectal cancer. "Higher income improved prognosis. Sorry, higher income was "associated" with a better prognosis.
"Another of those missed opportunities to try throwing money at a problem.
"While I was hunting said paper I hit on the PPT (Polyp Prevention Trial). This was another mega intervention trial along the lines of WHEL in breast cancer. I had the temerity to click on the "related articles" link and all of the papers poured out. Significant increases in all of the politically correct stuff, sustained with INCREASING compliance over 4 years. Fat was down at close to 20% of calories with at least 7 servings of plants a day.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Enough fiber you wouldn't want to share an enclosed space with an intervention participant for too long. Obviously produced diddly squat improvement compared to no intervention by four years, so they followed for eight years. You can't say that this belief structure doesn't engender persistance! More diddly squat at eight years.
"Overall, not a lot to show for eight years of work. But of course it needed doing to disprove the hypothesis that fruit 'n' fiber is good for you, which it did, nicely. No one seems to have been overjoyed. Or noticed for that matter. Somewhat hysterically they did a data trawl and came up with this gem. Again, please be cautious about getting in to a lift with someone eating enough dry beans to make a difference. If it really was beans which made the difference, which I doubt."

The 'gem' referred to was some unbelievable amount of beans one had to eat to show a reduction in association to cancer risk.  There's a point, with regards to bean consumption, that it might be better to get cancer ...

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