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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 26 2014, @05:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the will-somebody-think-of-the-children? dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

"The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, has found that use of acetaminophen (paracetamol) during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs [hyperkinetic disorders] and ADHD-like behaviors in children. More than half of all mothers in the study reported acetaminophen use while pregnant.

The LA Times has a longer and lighter story about the study which reminds us 'that unchecked fevers have been associated with a number of poor health outcomes in babies, including lowered IQs.'

Led by neuropsychologist Miriam Cooper of the University of Cardiff in Wales, the group wrote that without more details on how acetaminophen might lay the foundations for later ADHD, and when and in whom it is most likely to boost risk, the current findings should be interpreted cautiously and should not change practice.

For pregnant women, the study underscores that, even when a medication is billed as safe, the safest route is to take it as rarely as possible and at the lowest effective dose, said UCLA obstetrician Dr. Daniel Kahn, a maternal-fetal health specialist who was not involved in the study.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't?"

 
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  • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday February 28 2014, @12:10AM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 28 2014, @12:10AM (#8170) Journal

    Statistical statements like "more than half of those that did bla suffered bla" do not necessarily indicate any link whatsoever, especially when it is such a common item.

    If you read your original post where you quoted the sentence, you will see that it is merely: "More than half of all mothers in the study reported acetaminophen use while pregnant."

    This sentence serves to show how important it is that their findings be investigated further. It is not intended to indicate any link. The study's findings indicate the link.

    If very few pregnant women took acetaminophen, then this issue wouldn't be so important. But actually large numbers of pregnant women take acetaminophen - more than half of all mothers in the study reported doing so, for example.

     

    The summary showed such statistical illogicality it didn't seem worth it.

    I think the most you could argue is that the summary gave a bit too much prominence to that particular sentence.

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  • (Score: 1) by cloying on Friday February 28 2014, @12:58PM

    by cloying (91) on Friday February 28 2014, @12:58PM (#8454)

    If it doesn't indicate a link, which it doesn't, why waste money investigating it? The sentence indicates no actual findings..

    I understood your point the first time. I don't think you've grasped mine:
    Just because more than 50% of people in a study do something, doesn't mean it has any bearing whatsoever on another happening. It's one of the most common mistakes applied to statistics. It means nothing. Hence why I refer to what if more than half the mothers drank milk in the study? would that make it worth investigating further? of course not. or maybe. its a completely useless statement!

    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday February 28 2014, @04:14PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 28 2014, @04:14PM (#8566) Journal

      Firstly, if anyone else reading this could step in and settle the matter, cloying and I would both be grateful!

                                  `
      But I'll try again myself too ...

      Studies of the Danish National Birth Cohort [sagepub.com] have produced much useful information.

      One such piece of information is that acetaminophen is used quite a lot by pregnant women. "More than half of all mothers in the study reported acetaminophen use while pregnant." This is of no surprise to anyone.

      A far more interesting piece of information is that "use of acetaminophen (paracetamol) during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs [hyperkinetic disorders] and ADHD-like behaviors in children."

      Your argument against the 2nd piece of information consists of criticizing the use of the 1st piece of information to deduce the 2nd. But no-one has used the 1st piece of information to deduce the 2nd.

      • (Score: 1) by cloying on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:39AM

        by cloying (91) on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:39AM (#8979)

        No Need. I can step in myself, my apologies, I now see the confusion.

        Thanks for sticking with it and reiterating and reexplaining. I thought you were trolling for a second, but then re read your stuff, and can see now how the sentence is intended to be interpreted to raise awareness of the issue due to the fact so many people are using it during pregnancy. The summary was weak in getting that across, but I was slow getting your point, and thinking I already had!