Ridiculous Study of the Week: Heart Attacks and Cold Weather

Here you go.  Groundbreaking research once again:

Based on more than a decade and a half of medical and weather data, researchers linked an increased incidence of heart attacks to lower air temperatures, lower atmospheric pressure, higher wind velocity and shorter durations of sunshine, according to the report in JAMA Cardiology.

Do you buy it?  There may be some interesting thoughts here but what about the contradicting studies showing that cold weather is healthy (see this link  – not a study but you get the idea)?  The truth is that man NEVER feels cold weather.  We heat our houses and never expose ourselves to the environment.  I could go on forever but the amount of confounding variables that could blow this study up would be endless.  My biggest issue is how the press will twist this.   So I googled it and the first thing I saw was:

Colder weather could increase your chances of heart attack, study finds

Once again you have sound bite research that makes no sense and helps no one.  I heard that they are now studying whether amputees have a higher chance of getting tinea pedis.  That should be a good one, too.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Week: Heart Attacks and Cold Weather

  1. Steve O'
    October 27, 2018 at 10:32 am

    If you are on the bell curve, the view from the summit is achieved at the top of the mountain of mediocrity.
    Dummies + computers = dummies with a huge audience. They’re still dummies.
    Here you have it, ladies and gentlemen – the ultimate in artificial intelligence. If one refuses to think, but instead creates an algorithm which emits results, these results constitute the product of sheer dumbassery.

    Once the American medical literature was founded on the principles that communication of scientifically relevant findings would advance medical care. This postulate is unchallenged.
    Now, one generates findings for the corporate megaphone that are the medical journals. Thanks to the internet, they are subscription services unaffordable by persons; only by corporate entities. One notes that they often publish material created under public funding, to publish under private copyright.

    As this article points out, all that matters is the flow of verbiage. That generates money. Most physicians have turned their back on the pulsing sewer of medical publication.
    The Journal of the American College of Physicians came across my desk. It was free; I am not a member of ACP. The title was Researcher Requests for Inappropriate Analysis and Reporting: A U.S. Survey of Consulting Biostatisticians or “PHML” requests. “Please help me lie.”
    These sorts of studies as referenced today do not ask about chance, bias or confounding – the hallmark of statistics 101. Such things do not matter. What passes for research is the demonstrating of statistically relevant connection between input and output. That allows for the most mindless (or biased) questions to be asked and answered.
    Steven Jay Gould, in his book The Mismeasure of Man (1981), showed that the IQ test was designed carelessly, and the answers were selected, both deliberately and accidentally, to produce a pre-determined outcome distribution.

    These things can be subtle. One needs consulting statisticians to avoid inadvertent bias. But rigorous science doesn’t sell.

    We still clamor for the polygraph, a piece of quackery that should be gone with phrenology and spirit healing. (If the polygraph has any correlatable output, it should tend to select psychopaths as autonomically quiescent, therefore honest. Go figure.)

    Finding correlations without intelligent input is not science, nor research. It is nearly anti-science. It is part of the money-grubbing racket that is ruining American medicine. But the doors have been open for financial predation for years. Look at what we got. Do we need research to show the downward trend of health care? No.

  2. Randy
    October 27, 2018 at 10:05 am

    First thing that came to my mind was the old Netter slide of classic angina: Older guy coming out into the cold after a big meal, exerting himself coming up the stairs with a heavy briefcase.


  3. Sir Lance-a-lot
    October 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Shoveling snow, Doug. Shoveling snow.

    I bet everyone on here has seen more than one AMI in a guy who “just had a little more to shovel” and kept going.

    Nothing else pushes the regular out-of-shape common man to give himself an unsupervised stress test like shoveling snow does every year. They drop like flies, sometimes face down in the snow, sometimes in the kitchen over a cup of coffee.

    That being said, we all knew that already, so it’s pretty funny that these idiots would relate it to “lower air temperatures, lower atmospheric pressure, higher wind velocity,” which is a synonym for “snow storm.”

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