Thursday, November 08, 2007

FAT WOMEN GET MORE CANCER -- Or so they say again

The medical researchers are always trying to prove it and some British statisticians have come up with some statistical jiggery-pokery that seems to indicate it. Report and abstract below.

For a start, what is NOT mentioned is very interesting: That fat women get LESS breast cancer overall and that it is people of middling weight who live longest overall. The latter finding is what statisticians call a curvilinear relationship and should in the circumstances have been tested for in the study below. That seems not to have been done. I suspect that the effects were too weak to allow for it.

At any event, if fatties DO get more cancer, they must get less of other things in order to live longer. No mention of THAT, of course.

But I suspect that the whole report is nonsense, anyhow. In order to get some detectable effect, they somehow put their women into groups of ten --
"relative risk per 10 units". What was wrong with just listing average mass indices in victim versus non-victim groups? I think I know: Minuscule differences. Grouping your data is ALWAYS bad statistics. It throws away information. So the professional female statisticians who did this study were very lax to do so. Such laxity had to be motivated.

Women who are overweight are at a greater risk of contracting a wide range of cancers, a study has shown. The authors calculate that 6,000 cancers a year - 5 per cent of all cancers in women - can be attributed to being overweight or obese.

The effect is greatest in cancers of the oesophagus (gullet) and endometrium (lining of the womb), where the risks are more than doubled. But there are also significant increases in the risks of contracting kidney cancer, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, ovarian cancer, breast cancer in older women and colorectal cancer in younger ones.

The team, led by Gillian Reeves of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford, analysed data from the Million Women Study. This is the largest study of the cancer risk for women, funded by Cancer Research UK. It involved 1.2 million women who were aged between 50 and 64 when they joined the study between 1996 and 2001, and who were monitored for an average of more than five years.

Information provided by the women at the start of the study included their height and weight, There were more than 45,000 cases of cancer and 17,203 deaths. The data allowed correlations to be observed between body mass index and cancer risk. The report, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that greater weight increased the risk of ten of the 17 cancers studied. It was calculated that an increase of 10 in the BMI measure - from 25 to 35, say - increased the risk of all cancers combined by 12 per cent. It almost tripled the risk of endometrial cancer and more than doubled that of oesophageal cancer.

Dr Reeves said: "Based on our findings, we estimate that being overweight or obese accounts for around 6,000 out of a total 120,000 new cases of cancer each year among middle-aged and older women in the UK. "Our research also shows that being overweight has a much bigger impact on the risk of some cancers than others. Two thirds of the additional 6,000 cancers each year due to overweight or obesity would be cancers of the womb or breast."

In some cases, the effect depends on the age of the woman. For example, being overweight only increases the risk of breast cancer after the menopause and the risk of bowel cancer before the menopause.

Sara Hiom, of Cancer Research UK, said: "This research adds to the evidence regarding the impact of being overweight or obese on developing cancer and dying from the disease. While most people readily associate carrying extra weight with being a general health risk, many do not make a specific link with cancer. These findings need to be taken into consideration alongside the established strong relationships between body fatness and other common illnesses, such as diabetes and heart attacks."

The link between cancer and being overweight is not new, but this is among the strongest evidence yet gathered in support of it. The study does not address reasons for the link, but a strong possibility is that extra fat generates greater quantities of the hormones that feed cancer. Excess body fat is not simply padding but active tissue producing hormones, so someone who has more of it runs a higher risk of cancer than a person of normal weight. In addition, overweight people are less likely to have healthy lifestyles. A healthy diet and regular exercise are acknowledged as factors that lower the risk of all cancers.


Journal abstract:

Cancer incidence and mortality in relation to body mass index in the Million Women Study: cohort study

By Gillian K Reeves et al.

Objective: To examine the relation between body mass index (kg/m2) and cancer incidence and mortality.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Participants: 1.2 million UK women recruited into the Million Women Study, aged 50-64 during 1996-2001, and followed up, on average, for 5.4 years for cancer incidence and 7.0 years for cancer mortality.

Main outcome measures: Relative risks of incidence and mortality for all cancers, and for 17 specific types of cancer, according to body mass index, adjusted for age, geographical region, socioeconomic status, age at first birth, parity, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity, years since menopause, and use of hormone replacement therapy.

Results: 45 037 incident cancers and 17 203 deaths from cancer occurred over the follow-up period. Increasing body mass index was associated with an increased incidence of endometrial cancer (trend in relative risk per 10 units=2.89, 95% confidence interval 2.62 to 3.18), adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus (2.38, 1.59 to 3.56), kidney cancer (1.53, 1.27 to 1.84), leukaemia (1.50, 1.23 to 1.83), multiple myeloma (1.31, 1.04 to 1.65), pancreatic cancer (1.24, 1.03 to 1.48), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (1.17, 1.03 to 1.34), ovarian cancer (1.14, 1.03 to 1.27), all cancers combined (1.12, 1.09 to 1.14), breast cancer in postmenopausal women (1.40, 1.31 to 1.49) and colorectal cancer in premenopausal women (1.61, 1.05 to 2.48). In general, the relation between body mass index and mortality was similar to that for incidence. For colorectal cancer, malignant melanoma, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer, the effect of body mass index on risk differed significantly according to menopausal status.

Conclusions: Increasing body mass index is associated with a significant increase in the risk of cancer for 10 out of 17 specific types examined. Among postmenopausal women in the UK, 5% of all cancers (about 6000 annually) are attributable to being overweight or obese. For endometrial cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, body mass index represents a major modifiable risk factor; about half of all cases in postmenopausal women are attributable to overweight or obesity.

BMJ 6 November 2007

Blood transfusion row in Britain

People are focusing on one case where refusal of a transfusion appears to have caused death. What they are NOT mentioning is that in MOST cases refusal of a transfusion has a BETTER outcome than accepting it. And the reason why is now fairly clear. Blood loses its oxygen-carrying capacity shortly after donation. So even WITH a transfusion the woman would probably have died

A Jehovah's witness died shortly after giving birth to twins because her faith prevented her from having a blood transfusion. Emma Gough, 22, began haemorrhaging but because her beliefs did not allow her to receive blood she slipped into unconsciousness and died. As she suffered severe blood loss and her life ebbed away, medical staff urged her husband, Anthony, and her parents, all of whom follow the same faith, to overrule her decision and allow a transfusion which could have saved her, but they refused.

She gave birth naturally and all appeared well as she cuddled her baby son and daughter, but she suddenly began to haemorrhage. Her condition was complicated by the fact she was anaemic.

Mrs Gough signed a form prior to giving birth making it clear she should not be given blood in the event of an emergency, which also confirmed she understood the risks of her decision. But it is understood her family were unhappy with the hospital because they felt Mrs Gough should have been given a Caesarean section but was left to give birth naturally.

Mr Gough, 24, a central heating engineer who has been left to bring up the children, said: "We are coping the best we can. There will be an inquest and issues will arise from that." Mrs Gough, who died on October 25th, was cremated at Telford Crematorium on Monday.

She and Mr Gough, who married in Barbados in December 2005, were devout Jehovah's witnesses, as were their families, and they all worshipped in Telford, attending the Kingdom Hill halls. Peter Welch, who was the couple's best man, said: "Everyone is devastated by what has happened. We can't believe she died after childbirth in this day and age, with all the technology there is. "What makes it even more sad is Emma had time to hold and start to bond with her twins before complications set in."

The couple, who lived in Dawley, Telford, have been together since they were teenagers and friends said Mrs Gough, who worked at the town centre's Next, was "ecstatic" to be having twins. Mrs Gough always dreamed of a Caribbean wedding and Mr Gough organised it as a surprise, the couple marrying in the grounds of the Tamarind Grove Hotel in front of 30 family members and friends.

Jehovah's witnesses insist that passages from the Bible ban them from taking blood. The collection, storage and transfusion of blood are all forbidden. A member of the Kingdom Hill congregation in Telford, Shrops, who asked not to be named, said: "The basis of the faith is that we follow commands from the scriptures and it is a scriptural command to abstain from blood. "It is one of a number of things contained in the Scriptures about things you can and cannot do. It is, of course, up to the individual to decide how strongly to follow these requirements. I accept that the faith will receive criticism over this. Some of our beliefs do attract criticism."

He denied Mrs Gough was being selfish by putting her own beliefs before the needs of her children, adding: "Children are always a priority. We respect life. We seek the best medical attention we can get but the requirement we have is that we do so without receiving blood. It is very sad and there is a lot of support for the family." ....

A spokesman for the Shrewsbury coroner said that the cause of death was recorded initially as complications of profound anaemia due to haemorrhage and complications of twin delivery. An inquest has been opened and adjourned and investigations are continuing.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This idea emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Misinterpreting the Old Testament prohibition against eating animal blood as a routine food item, the WatchTower Society began teaching in 1945 that receiving a blood transfusion was "eating human blood". Jehovah's Witnesses believe that receiving an infusion of human blood into their body's circulatory system is scientifically the exact same thing as eating or ingesting blood into their body's digestive system. Paul Gilles recent comments during this tragedy in which he compared injecting alcohol into one's veins (give me a break) to drinking alcohol proves that JWs still believe what the WatchTower Society published back in 1951:

"A patient in the hospital maybe fed through the mouth, through the nose, or through the veins. When sugar solutions are given intravenously it is called intravenous feeding. So the hospital's own terminology recognizes as feeding the process of putting nutrition into one's system via the veins. Hence the attendant administering the transfusion is feeding the patient through the veins, and the patient receiving it is eating through his veins." -- The WATCHTOWER magazine, July 1, 1951.

Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that when human blood is transfused into their body's circulatory system that the transfused human blood remains to be human blood and continues to function as human blood. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that if blood is eaten, then the ingested blood enters the body's digestive system, where the blood would be treated by the body exactly the same as it would treat a hotdog, a potato chip, or any other food item. Ingested blood would be completely digested and broken down into proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and waste; which are then either assimilated or excreted by the body.

The WatchTower Society uses scriptures which speak about the blood of slaughtered animals to teach Jehovah's Witnesses that blood is "sacred" because blood is the "symbol of life". Then, the WatchTower Society turns around and requires Jehovah's Witnesses to sacrifice their own "life" to maintain the alleged "sacredness" of a "symbol" of the very thing they are sacrificing -- their life. Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to acknowledge that the WatchTower doctrine on blood moronically places a higher value on the SYMBOL than it does on the THING SYMBOLIZED.

In fact, the Old Testament scriptures permitted the eating of unbled animal meat, which the Bible treats exactly the same as eating animal blood itself. In isolated occasions, when humans needed to eat unbled meat in order to sustain their own human life, the Mosaic Law permitted such, but then required the eaters to fulfill the requirements of being "unclean" for a few days. Thus, the Bible recognized that the sustaining of human life was more "sacred" than maintaining the sacredness of animal blood. To do otherwise would be doing exactly what the moronic WatchTower Society does. It would make the SYMBOL more SACRED than the THING SYMBOLIZED.

In fact, the WatchTower Society is leading Jehovah's Witnesses to disobey GOD and violate the Holy Scriptures in one of the most serious ways possible. Because humans were created in GOD's image, GOD considers human life sacred. A Jehovah's Witness who sacrifices their SACRED LIFE in order to maintain the sacredness of a SYMBOL of that SACRED LIFE varies little from those who profane life by committing suicide. Those Jehovah's Witness Elders who teach and police this moronic doctrine vary little from common accessories to murder. The Bible is fairly clear in how GOD views murder, and how He deals with Murderers.

This moronic twisting of scripture would be laughable if not for the fact that it has lead to the pointless deaths of numerous Jehovah's Witnesses in the past, and it will continue to lead to the pointless deaths of many more Jehovah's Witnesses in the future.

The following website summarizes over 315 U.S. court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witness Parents, including 200+ cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children: