Friday, October 09, 2009

Dr. Michael Siegel Blows Whistle on Stanton Glantz's Heart Attack Meta-Analysis

"What readers need to understand is that a meta-analysis is only as good as the individual studies that go into it. If the individual study conclusions are invalid, then the meta-analysis will be invalid as well. This is exactly the case with the present study.

I have previously analyzed each of the published studies on smoking bans and heart attacks and explained why the conclusions of these studies are invalid. You can't just combine the studies in a meta-analysis and argue that suddenly the conclusion becomes valid. The meta-analysis does not account for the severe flaws in these studies, including the failure to adequately rule out the possibility that the observed declines in heart attacks merely reflected a combination of random variation plus an already declining secular trend in heart attacks over time."