The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Solid Science or weird extrapolation?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:06 pm on Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pharmacy chick was perusing Yahoo the other day when I saw a little clip about a study that stated that people who floss daily may live 3-5 years longer than those that don’t. 

Really?  Its all about the flossing?  Thats it? Floss and you live longer? 

How about we deflate this lofty assumption just a bit and look at it closer.

Could it possibly be that the person who flosses daily, would also likely be somebody who practices other health conscious ( and therefore life lengthening) measures? 

Could it be that if you care about your teeth, you probably care about the rest of your body? And that the compilation of all those practices might be the reason those people live longer?

Just askin…

6 Comments »

Comment by WarmSocks

October 31, 2011 @ 2:31 am

A few years ago I saw something that said people who don’t floss are at increased risk of lupus, too. The CAM people should be all over that one.

Comment by Jennifer

October 31, 2011 @ 3:11 am

This is a total pet peeve of mine. I will never forget the words of my college stats professor when he taught on the first day how correlation does NOT automatically equal causation. (He used the example of a graph that shows a total correlation of the months that kids eat the most ice cream and the highest rate of drowning.) Anyway, I wish people in the media paid more attention in their stats class. I drives me nuts when they word a obviously correlative study as if it showed absolute causation. /rant

Comment by Matt M

October 31, 2011 @ 6:54 am

Now, I know that bacteria in infected gums can migrate to your heart, and cause inflamation. And that is bad. However, 3 to 5 years worth of early death bad? I don’t think so.

Kids, floss your teeth after you eat all those snack-size candy bars tonight.

Comment by Naomi

October 31, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

You’re just too analytical. You have to let science wash over you.

Comment by Eileen

November 1, 2011 @ 2:31 am

Jennifer – oh yes, yes, yes! It drives me nuts too – journalists do it all the time and the gullible public pick up all the really bad examples – of course – and believe them. Grrrr!

Comment by Tecnically Insane

November 1, 2011 @ 5:01 am

I have seen articals like that one but written by better journalists. Their view was people with whiter teeth live longer because they brush their teeth. And because they have good overall oral hygine they most likely take better care as their bodies as a whole. Kinda like the view that people who eat whole grains tend to weigh less. Yes, and they also tend to eat healthier.

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