I don\’t believe you!

Certainly, at this stage I don\’t believe you.

Early results of a study commissioned by the Department of Health revealed heart attack rates dropped by about a tenthin England in the year after the ban was introduced in July 2007.

Separate research found an even sharper decrease – 14 per cent – in Scotland, where the ban was imposed a year earlier. Another study in Wales is expected to reveal similar results.

As I recall that Scottish study was very much cherry picking the data, wasn\’t it? One town only and the results were well within random variation? Or is that an American study about the same sort of thing that I\’m thinking about?

Anyone who actually knows their health stats care to comment?

5 comments on “I don\’t believe you!

  1. This chap has been looking at the research:

    http://velvetgloveironfist.com/index.php?page_id=59

    “There has recently been some controversy about Jill Pell’s Scottish heart attack study, a lamentable piece of epidemiology which has been debunked here and elsewhere. A few weeks ago, the British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail told its readers – quite wrongly, as it turned out – that there had been a major fall in heart attack incidence in England. ”

    The links are worth following.

  2. The heart attack rate fell by 2% in 2007/08 compared with 2.8% in 2007/06. Those are figures for April to April so do not exactly reflect the post-ban (July) year, but they are close enough for us to see that the decline in the full year could not have been anywhere near 10%.

    It’s pure junk. Again. The only point of interest will be in seeing which trick they use to turn 2% into 10%.

    http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2009/09/worst-junk-stat-of-2010.html

  3. As I recall, the initial apparent steep drop here in Scotland was achieved by comparing the normal annual rate of heart attacks with the figures for April to December, annualised.

    Heart attacks reach a peak in the cold months of January to March. Simples.

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