De medici worden langzaamaan geconfronteerd met een wat kritischer publiek als het om de meerokenverslaggeving gaat.
Zoals op de internet site WebMDHealth. Lezers protesteerden tegen de eenzijdige verslaggeving over meeroken aldaar en de site moest daarom in het openbaar wat gas terugnemen en toegeven dat het belangrijk is ook te kijken naar de achtergrond van diegenen die over meeroken publiceren. Niet alle wetenschap is wetenschap moeten ze bekennen…..
Sometimes the most incisive questions about medical research come not from journalists who cover the beat but from readers who can sense when something doesn’t smell quite right.
Take the case of a recent WebMD news article titledIt reports on a review of research, published in the journal Circulation, concluding that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can have physiological effects that are 80% to 90% of those from smoking. The study’s authors say that helps explain why secondhand smoke appears to increase the risk of heart disease by about 30% and to account for at least 35,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
A number of WebMD users weren’t buying any of it. “I’m sorry,” wrote one, “but I just don’t accept that report. … Everyone should quit smoking. Sure. But to use such studies to suggest that smokers are also killing people around them, and in order to pass more laws against smoking, is fraudulent.”
What the WebMD article failed to mention — but what some readers correctly surmised — is that there’s a political agenda behind the research. One of the authors, Stanton Glantz, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, is a prominent anti-tobacco activist who for years has been fighting for restrictions on smoking in public places. Glantz and his co-author make it clear that they are not dispassionate scientists but advocates for a cause, when, at the end of their study, they write: “Implementation of smoke-free policies … would have substantial effects on heart disease morbidity and mortality. … Physicians, public health advocates, and policymakers can move forward in implementing these policies secure in the knowledge that implementing smoke-free environments to rapidly and substantially improve cardiovascular health rests on a strong scientific foundation.”
In fact, the foundation isn’t as solid as they would have us believe. The precise effects of secondhand smoke on heart disease are still a matter of some scientific uncertainty and debate, and Glantz’s study doesn’t add new data. Instead, it selectively reviews human and animal studies that show adverse effects of passive smoke on blood clotting, cholesterol levels, artery narrowing, antioxidant levels, and other indicators of cardiovascular health. Combining the results of these studies, Glantz and his co-author conclude the effects of secondhand smoke are “on average” nearly as large as those of active smoking. But it’s not clear exactly how the authors calculated this average, nor do they address possible pitfalls of the research they cite, such as how relevant the animal studies are to humans or how well human experiments in controlled settings replicate real-world conditions.
Het schaamrood hoort hun op de kaken te staan!