Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Worst science journalism of the week

From the Daily Mail...
EXCLUSIVE: Using snus or dipping tobacco may raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 30 PERCENT, study suggests

Using snus tobacco products may raise the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30 percent, a study has suggested.

... In the latest study, researchers in Sweden — where snus was invented and the product is popular — monitored nearly 37,000 people in the country for eight years.

This included 2,000 snus users who had never smoked a cigarette.

They found that these individuals were 29 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people who did not smoke cigarettes or take snus.

What the study actually says... 
In this study, no association between snus use and risk of T2D [Type 2 diabetes] in the entire study population, in the analysis adjusted for age, sex, and smoking or in a model adjusted for other confounders, was observed, which is in line with the results from several cross-sectional and case-control studies.
From the Daily Mail...

Dr Olga Titova, an epidemiologist at Uppsala University who led the research, suggested snus raised the risk of diabetes because it contained nicotine.

What the study actually says...
This study suggests that current and former smoking are associated with an increased risk of developing T2D in middle-aged and older participants. There was less evidence of an association of Swedish snus use with the risk of T2D, suggesting that compounds other than nicotine may have a larger adverse effect on the development of T2D.
I can handle sensationalist media coverage of epidemiological studies, but reporting the opposite of what a study found is a bit much, isn't it?

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