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Author Topic: When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes  (Read 819 times)

Rita

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When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
« on: June 14, 2017, 06:04:00 PM »
Long article, but worth the read:
https://www.propublica.org/article/when-evidence-says-no-but-doctors-say-yes

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the article:

-   “nobody that’s not having a heart attack needs a stent.” (Brown added that stents may improve chest pain in some patients, albeit fleetingly.) Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of stable patients receive stents annually, and one in 50 will suffer a serious complication or die as a result of the implantation procedure."

-  "Even if a drug you take was studied in thousands of people and shown truly to save lives, chances are it won’t do that for you. The good news is, it probably won’t harm you, either. Some of the most widely prescribed medications do little of anything meaningful, good or bad, for most people who take them."

-"Intensive medication to keep blood pressure very low in diabetic patients caused more side effects and was no better at preventing heart attacks or death than more mild treatments that allowed for a somewhat higher blood pressure. "

- "CPR is no more effective with rescue breathing than if chest compressions are used alone; and breast-cancer survivors who are told not to lift weights with swollen limbs actually should lift weights, because it improves their symptoms."

-  "The 21st Century Cures Act — a rare bipartisan bill, pushed by more than 1,400 lobbyists and signed into law in December — lowers evidentiary standards for new uses of drugs and for marketing and approval of some medical devices. Furthermore, last month President Donald Trump scolded the FDA for what he characterized as withholding drugs from dying patients. He promised to slash regulations “big league. … It could even be up to 80 percent” of current FDA regulations, he said. To that end, one of the president’s top candidates to head the FDA, tech investor Jim O’Neill, has openly advocated for drugs to be approved before they’re shown to work. “Let people start using them at their own risk,” O’Neill has argued."

- "A 2004 analysis of clinical trials — including eight randomized controlled trials comprising more than 24,000 patients — concluded that atenolol [a beta-blocker] did not reduce heart attacks or deaths compared with using no treatment whatsoever; patients on atenolol just had better blood-pressure numbers when they died."

-  "atenolol was prescribed to more than 2.6 million Medicare beneficiaries, ranking it the 31st most prescribed drug out of 3,362 drugs."

-"if 1,000 elderly women take aspirin daily for a decade, 11 of them will avoid a heart attack; meanwhile, twice that many will suffer a major gastrointestinal bleeding event that would not have occurred if they hadn’t been taking aspirin. As with most drugs, though, aspirin will not cause anything particularly good or bad for the vast majority of people who take it. "

"or every 100 older adults who take a sleep aid, 7 will experience improved sleep, while 17 will suffer side effects that range widely in severity, from simple morning “hangover” to memory loss and serious accidents. As with many medications, most who take a sleep aid will experience neither benefit nor harm."

The article goes on to discuss many different drugs and various surgeries that have no benefit and may even hurt the patients.

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When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
« on: June 14, 2017, 06:04:00 PM »

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