Due diligence re: medications

We just came across a fascinating scientific paper reporting on a survey of 50 studies of more than 70,000 people to evaluate the behavior of flu vaccines. In a word: sketchy.

This is a great lesson teaching us why we should do our own due diligence about medications before we accept the advice of “experts” and government public health advocates. To see the entire page, visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20614424

Here are the key findings from to the abstract, published July 7, 2010 (slightly edited and emphasis added):

“MAIN RESULTS:

“… In the relatively uncommon circumstance of vaccine matching the viral circulating strain and high circulation, 4% of unvaccinated people versus 1% of vaccinated people developed influenza symptoms (risk difference (RD) 3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2% to 5%).”

This means that four out of 100 people unvaccinated people get the flu and only one out of 100 get it. Is this a good reason for urging practically the entire world to get a shot???

“The corresponding figures for poor vaccine matching were 2% and 1% (RD 1, 95% CI 0% to 3%). These differences were not likely to be due to chance. Vaccination had a modest effect on time off work and had no effect on hospital admissions or complication rates.

“Inactivated vaccines caused local harms and an estimated 1.6 additional cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome per million vaccinations. The harms evidence base is limited.

“AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS:

“Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.

“WARNING: This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration). An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size.

“Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favorable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.”

We find that in our Libertarian/Conservative leaning county here that fewer than half of the residents obey official advice.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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