Intended for healthcare professionals


The scandal of poor epidemiological research

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 14 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:868


Dear Editor,

A beautiful small booklet by a leading American epidemiologist,
Steven Milloy, entitled SCIENCE WITHOUT SENSE (Cato Institute, Washington
DC, publication)graphically describes the hollowness of the
epidemiological research in chronic killer disease areas of coronary
artery disease, hypertension, cancer, and stroke etcetera.
Most, if not all, of our conclusions, drawn from those epidemiological
studies in the past four decades, have been fallacious.
The risk factor hypotheses, fat hypothesis as its leader and the prime
till mover for the drug companies, could be taken as the best example.

It is time that the bluff is called and we stop scaring the common man
unnecessarily. However, it has been a field day for the drug companies to
sell expensive drugs to lower all the body parameters claiming to avoid
serious consequences at a later date! We have been predicting the
unpredictable future of the dynamic human body that does not follow the
linear laws as time evolves. Consequently, audits have belied most of
those tall claims.

Yours ever,


Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 October 2004
BM Hegde
Retd. Vice Chancellor
Mangalore-575004. India