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"Whole-grain cereal reduces risk of heart failure: study"

Vancouver Sun

Source: Vancouver Sun

Published: 23 Oct 2021

Category: Other

Rating: (1 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

CHICAGO -- Eating whole-grain cereals has already shown promise for lowering blood pressure and warding off heart attacks, but it may also significantly reduce the risk of heart failure, U.S. researchers said Monday.
They found that men who ate a bowl a day of whole-grain cereal had a 28 per cent lower risk of developing heart failure over a 20-year study.
"Eating half a cup to a cup of whole-grain breakfast cereal may help lower your blood pressure....

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how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 1 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is another study linking the consumption of whole grain foods to a beneficial health outcome. The problems with this type of observational study need to be spelled out and in this case, they weren't. The study is of 20,000 US physicians (are they like you and I) whose diet was revealed through questionnaires (a notoriously unreliable form of study) and uncovered a reduced rate of heart failure. Now this might seem like good news for those who enjoy whole grain foods we don't learn if maybe whole grain foods have some downsides. Did the consumption of those foods result in negative outcomes for those people? Like all these kinds of observational studies which imply causation (i.e.: whole foods = reduced heart failure) the journalist must explain the potential for bias. Maybe the doctors who ate whole grains also did other things that reduced their rates of heart failure?

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