It seems nearly every day the media have something to tell us about health in general or ALS in particular. Studies can "show" that health is improved by drinking green tea but maybe not brown tea, eating dark chocolate but not milk chocolate, avoiding caffeine, exercising more, exercising right, being married, breast-feeding babies, staying out of the sun, getting enough sun, and so forth.
The MDA/ALS Newsletter presents the first in a series of columns on how to interpret this barrage of medical information. The articles are written by biomedical statistician David Schoenfeld of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and MDA Medical Editor Margaret Wahl.
Schoenfeld, who holds a doctorate in mathematics with a concentration in statistics from the University of Oregon in Eugene, has designed and analyzed clinical trials in ALS, organ transplants, cancer and respiratory distress syndrome.
He’s co-authored more than 100 articles on statistics in medicine, and has been affiliated with the State University of New York at Buffalo and Harvard University’s School of Public Health and Medical School, among other institutions.
Schoenfeld has also been an adviser for the World Health Organization and was part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s investigation of the chemical-landfill-turned-environmental-disaster at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, N.Y.