Espresso, loss of life, and the New York Instances Properly weblog |


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Gary Schwitzer is the founder and writer of HealthNewsReview. He has coated well being care information nearly completely since 1973. Right here is his on-line bio.  He tweets as @garyschwitzer or as @HealthNewsRevu.

A New York Instances e-newsletter headline author tried to be cute:


No, it’s not so easy.

And, no, the examine didn’t discover that those that drank average quantities of espresso have a decrease mortality threat than non-coffee drinkers.

That may be a cause-and-effect assertion, and this observational examine didn’t discover that, didn’t show that, however solely pointed to a statistical affiliation.

The precise on-line model of the story, linked to from the teaser above, hedged and danced with numerous wordsmithing.  Excerpts:

  • “That morning cup of espresso could also be linked to a decrease threat of dying”
  • “There are, nevertheless, main caveats to deciphering this analysis… That is an observational examine, which implies the info can’t conclusively show that espresso itself lowers the chance of dying; there could also be different life-style components contributing to that decrease mortality threat amongst individuals who drink espresso, like a nutritious diet or a constant train routine.”

However whom you select to interview additionally impacts the message.  And the Instances selected to interview one of many editors of the Annals of Inner Medication, which revealed the paper.  And that editor gushed with extraordinary glee for a journal editor.

“It’s large. There are only a few issues that cut back your mortality by 30 %,” stated Dr. Christina Wee, an affiliate professor of medication at Harvard Medical College and a deputy editor of the scientific journal the place the examine was revealed.”

Besides that, once more, the paper didn’t show a discount in mortality by any %.

As I’ve written earlier than, espresso is the poster little one for miscommunicated observational analysis.  However throughout all the COVID craziness of the latest previous, it has taken a again seat. God assist us if this marks a comeback for crappy espresso headlines.


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