Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is the Superbowl Hazardous to Your Health?

Once again, the New England Journal of Medicine has sunk to new lows in the interest of increasing its impact factor.

The very notion that an article that used retrospecive ER chart reviews to evaluate the incidence of heart disease and claims to have identified "risk factors" that increase the incidence of heart attacks in people at the time of world cup soccer while conveniently excluding years when the World Cup was not in Germany is ludicrous. And if not enough, the authors go on to conclude that "in view of this excess risk, particularly in men with known coronary heart disease, preventive measures are urgently needed."

Give me a break.

What should we do, turn off the TV? Or maybe we should ban all hot dogs and salted pretzels at the soccer games?

But the media, oh baby, the media takes this well-timed drivel and extrapolates that men with coronary disease are more likely to have a heart attack watching the Superbowl! (See here, here, and here, for instance).

Well OF COURSE they will! It's really a conspiracy to lower the world's population of men with coronary disease! Why else would they have the halftime band be Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?

Maybe Barry Manilow would be more calming and preserve a few more lives. (Heck, that would kill me, but I digress).

It is a shame that journalistic marketing of medical journals has sunk to this new low - but hey, it's all about the advertising revenues...

... and the egos.

Here's what I say: Watch. Cheer. Socialize. Be Happy.

After all, it's good for your heart.



Anonymous said...

Of course, it was a crazy study, just like all of these scare stories... the clear solution is to ban all sports. LOL!

Kb said...

And don't more women die if heart disease anyway? So men drink the beer and eat the cheese doodles -- and women (me included) continued to obsess about how many more minutes on the elliptical for the ONE nacho you eat. Go Giants!

Anonymous said...

Crazy? Maybe. But it is interesting that at my facility there were more STEMIs on Sundays in 2007 than any other day of the week...something like 40% more than the next busiest day of the week. Maybe just coincidence though.