Bad science journalism ‘danger to brain’
The Daily Express announces itself as ‘The World’s Greatest Newspaper’. It’s nothing of the sort.
Take this piece, entitled ‘Aspirin danger to the brain’:
A DAILY dose of the “wonder drug” aspirin can cause bleeding in the brain, researchers have found.
Brain scans on more than 1,000 patients revealed a 70 per cent higher incidence of microscopic bleeding among those taking the drug.
Firstly, no, they didn’t find that aspirin ‘can cause bleeding in the brain’. They found an increased incidence of microbleeds in the sample. Correlation. Not necessarily causation.
And what is a 70% increase in terms of absolute risk? We’re not told.
The shock findings will be of major concern to the millions of Britons who take aspirin every day to stave off fatal heart attacks and strokes.
Well let’s hope that the Express’s shoddy journalism doesn’t concern them too much, because the same story quotes a neurologist as saying:
But it is clear for the vast majority of aspirin users that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
And here’s the danger of trash science journalism. Like the Daily Mail’s incoherent campaign against the HPV vaccine, or the MMR hoax, the potential consequences are injury and premature death. If people stop taking medication and subsequently die from heart attacks, well, never mind—the Express sold a few more copies, so it’s not all bad!
But just to put the final boot into their story, take a close look at the accompanying picture:
In related news, Princess Diana is still dead.