17 thoughts on “How is medical data presented to the public?

  1. Brenda Wyse

    How is medical data presented to the public? – This video is not available; it reads “The YouTube account associated with this video has been closed.” Shame – it sounded interesting!

  2. celia

    I got the video by going into the Post Comment section. I totally agree that research results presented to the public are shamelessly misleading. We need some sort of regulation that demands honesty and clarity. I find it so frustrating that we have to attempt to educate our doctors, or (more likely), just give up. Our health is too important.

  3. Elle

    Ultimately journalists are paid to sell newspapers and sensationalism sells newspapers. I totally agree that there should be full honest disclosure in layman’s terms for the man on the Clapham omnibus to understand fully. How to achieve it though?

    1. celia

      Yes, sensationalism sells newspapers, but it seems to me most journalists pump out what they’re given with regard to research results. I’d like to see a sensational expose of how distorted those figures are. Would some kind journalist please work on that?

  4. John Scott

    Good video. Wish we could clone you and ship you around the medical practices.
    Need to get you into government to try and stop this eat healthy grains whilst frying up with polyunsaturated fat lobby. Have you ordered Your copy of Grain Brain by David Pearlmutter?

  5. Mark

    Has the review of those two studies and the analysis of the data. (i.e. the survival data) been published? If so can you link us to that review? Thanks

  6. David Bailey

    I was interested in your comment about assertions of the form”so many lives are saved by X”, because I had wondered the same thing – what does it mean to talk about saving a life in the context of diseases that generally come in later life.

    I am curious as to how to convert between “average time added to life” and the more usual, “lives saved” – or indeed how they calculate the number of lives saved from the raw data!

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I have been writing a paper on this topic, and hope to get it published before the end of the year. The simple fact is that ‘lives saved’ is an utterly useless outome. It essentially means nothing. If I defibrillated someone and ‘saved their life’ this would be of little benefit if they died half and hour later. If I gave penicillin to a one year old and prevented them dying of meningitis, they could live another eightyy years, Both lives have been ‘saved’. One person gained 1,620,120 times as much benefit. Any outcome measure that can vary by more than one and a half million, is not a useful meaure

      On Sat, 7 Sep 2013 19:27:40 +0000

  7. Valerie


    I think you make a mistake in your averages. If 2% of people gain 4 months of life, and 98% of people gain nothing, you do not get an average of 14 days gained. It’s more like 2 or 3 days on average, no?

    I often see “reduction in mortality” instead of “reduction in mortality rate” in the media, as if they were working (and succeeding!) on immortality.


  8. GG

    If my doctor ever offers me statins I will give him the link to your video and blog. Much easier than me trying to explain to him why I would not take them.

    1. Mary Adair

      Wendy and others. I don’t know if you can, but if you can access STATINNATION.COM, you can actually purchase a look see at the entire video “Statin Nation”. The best way is to go to the Statin Nation website. It will give you the option of the watching the whole video for less than five American dollars (rental one time), Downloading it in High Def, or purchasing the entire DVD. You can watch excerpts (first 13 minutes) free on UTube any time. It is worth the watch, Wendy. But seeing it in its entirety is worth the 4.99 (at least for me) and I have it on good authority that Santa is putting the DVD under my tree this year. I would strongly encourage all of you to buy or rent the ENTIRE Statin Nation DVD. It is easy to understand and will shed light on the whole picture.


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