Statins raise type 2 diabetes risk by 60 per cent
April 10th 2017 in Diabetes, Diabetes type 1, Diabetes type 2, Drugs, Heart disease
Cholesterol-lowering statins do raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, a major new review has confirmed. The risk can rise by as much as 60 per cent depending on the drug being taken.
Earlier studies had seen that the drugs increase diabetes risk—although it was only between 9 and 13 per cent—but researchers from the University of Milan have discovered it raises the risk far more.
On average the drugs increase the risk by 44 per cent, but it can be as high as 61 per cent for people taking Crestor (rosuvastatin), one of the most successful drugs in the statin family and often described as a 'super statin'.
The risk seems to increase with length of use and higher doses.
The researchers took another look at 20 studies, which involved more than 1,000 people taking a statin.
They say that there needs to be a more rigorous monitoring of statin patients, especially if they are already pre-diabetic or have risk factors for diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease and even blindness.
Ombudsman investigates 'flawed' homeopathic study that claimed it doesn't work
April 10th 2017 in Homeopathy
A major and influential review of homeopathy concluded that the controversial therapy doesn't work—but it was so riddled with error and bad science that it's sparked an official ombudsman investigation.
The world's media announced that homeopathy was a scam after the Australia government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) published its findings in 2015 that "there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective."
But now the Commonwealth Ombudsman is investigating the review's procedures after receiving reports of inaccuracies, mishandling of evidence and conflicts of interest.
The review has been triggered by the Australian Homeopathic Association (AHA), supported by the Homeopathic Research Institute (HRI), which began questioning the review's processes after several solid studies that demonstrated homeopathy's benefits had been overlooked.
The NHMRC review team set arbitrary parameters that only studies that involved more than 150 people—and which met standards that even drug trials rarely achieve—would be considered. Those requirements reduced the number of qualifying studies to just five—from an initial pool of more than 1,800 trials—and none of these showed that homeopathy was effective.
One of the NHMRC's own reviewers produced a mysterious first report that has never been published, and hasn't been released despite Freedom of Information requests.
And the AHA has discovered that Prof Peter Brooks, chair of the NHMRC committee that carried out the homeopathy review, never declared that he was a member of the anti-homeopathy lobby group, Friends of Science in Medicine.
There are solid studies that demonstrate homeopathy is effective against childhood diarrhea, sinusitis and hay fever—but they all involve fewer than 150 people, said HRI chief executive Rachel Roberts. "The public has a right to know that there are high quality studies showing homeopathy works for some medical conditions—information that was lost only due to NHMRC's mishandling of the evidence."
The homeopaths aren't alone in challenging the NHMRC review: Australia's independent Cochrane Centre said its conclusions are not an accurate reflection of the evidence, and a second expert also said he felt "uncertain of the definitive nature of the report's conclusions."
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