Depression, chemicals, and drugs
From Gil Ross--of ACSH: NYC hospitals don’t make health workers get vaccinated

Stop the assault on salt

This HND piece marks the second time in six months that I have gone after the low-salters. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that low salt diets not only do not promote health, but are actually bad for people, these blockheads continue on—or at least try to.

The latest assault comes in the form of one of three articles recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The first two continue piling on the evidence that moderate salt consumption is good for you, but the low-salters have fixated on the third one (Mozaffarian et al.).

Cutting to the chase, lead author Dariush Mozaffarian and his nine collaborators spent plenty of Bill and Melinda Gates' money to run an epidemiological study on various health effects of dietary sodium. Hold onto your hats for the conclusion:

In this modeling study, 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular causes that occurred in 2010 were attributed to sodium consumption above a reference level of 2.0 g per day.

Bear in mind that less than one percent of people on earth consume such low levels of sodium per day. Thus, these brilliant researchers discovered that in a cohort that comprises 99% of the human race, there will be some deaths from cardiovascular causes. I ask you to take a short break to appreciate how incandescently stupid this is. Have you ever heard of an epi study in which the cohort is 99% of the human race? What possible conclusions can be drawn?

At the very least, epi studies must attempt to remove confounding factors, but those will clearly be in abundance if everyone is in the study, right? For an illustration, consider the most famous epi work of all time—Richard Doll's demonstration that smoking causes lung cancer. Doll identified a particular group, and then compared it with non-smokers, looking at the endpoint of lung cancer.

In Mozaffarian et al, by making his cohort 99% of humans, he does not have a "non" group, that can be characterized in any rational manner.  One can hardly imagine a more absurd epi study than this one.

But, it gets worse. Not only were these worthless results published in a highly prestigious journal, but they were touted by the president of the American Heart Association, and king of the low-salters, Elliott Antman, MD. And Dariush Mozaffarian was named dean of the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, coming from Harvard University, where he served as associate professor and co-director of the Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and an associate professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The health of Americans has been plagued with such meme-driven nonsense, and rejection of good science for decades. Likewise, the very promoters of this drivel are rewarded. And you wonder why there are major problems with our health care system?

Read the complete article.

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