Further Information

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Do simple prudent health behaviours protect men from myocardial infarction? | Spencer CA, Jamrozik K, Lambert L.
Article Published: 1999

Risk: RR= 1.47. retrieved from text
Type: Case-Control
Funding Source: See "Further Information" notes
Published By: Int J Epidemiol 28:846-852

Further Information

A wonderful example of junk science

We comment little here, allowing space instead, for this paper to speak for itself. You don’t need to be a specialist to realize the impossibility of achieving any measurement that is even remotely reliable with the methods used here. Emphasis added. AMI = Acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack.)

... These men completed a postal questionnaire in 1995 covering aspects of their lifestyle prior to having their AMI 35 well as demographic variables. Linkage of hospital records to official mortality Statistics showed that 135 men had died in the time between having their AMI and the postal survey. The next-of-kin were identified for 100 of these men and were sent a shortened version of the questionnaire to complete.

Cases and controls completed an almost identical self-administered questionnaire. The controls were asked to relate the questions to the time at which the questionnaire was answered while the cases were asked about details just prior to their AMI.

Each man completed the Short Fat Questionnaire, a previously validated instruments that provides an estimate of the proportion of calories obtained from saturated fat. Questionnaires concerning deceased men contained only two items for which fat content could be calculated  (removal of skin from chicken and type of milk used), yielding scores from 0 to 5. Therefore a pro-rata method was used to calculate the proportion of calories derived from saturated fat for the deceased men. Categories of  consumption of alcohol were created with reference: to the National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations for responsible drinking behaviour. Vigorous exercise was defined as that causing the man to breathe harder or to puff or pant.

At this point a comment becomes irresistible: was sex included in the "vigorous exercise" category? And did the men smoke after sex? Or were such questions censored, perhaps at least from the abridged questionnaire, in respect of the deceased respondents?...

Each man was also asked about the number of years out of the previous ten that he had been exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, and the number of hours of exposure in a usual week. In addition, the questionnaire covered previous medical history, current heart-related treatment.  Self-reported height and weight and length of residence in Western Australia.

In short, absolutely nothing of what has been examined could be measured and verified, as it was all based on self-reporting, guesswork, wild speculations and, to some extent, even self-diagnosis!

And the conclusions? Well, they are as predictable as the junk science created to support the ideology of “public health.” The message (and the whole point of this paper) is: "Do as 'public health' says, and you shall be healthy!” So, in fact, from the mass of non-quantifiable, non-verifiable and self-reported data the conclusions are that those who behaved like “public health” wanted were happier and healthier than those who didn’t!

Much of the epidemiological literature on the aetiology of vascular disease is concerned with biological factors that are associated with an  increase in risk, rather than with aspects of lifestyle and behaviour over which the individual has direct control and that might reduce risk. Health promotion and health education messages must address factors that the audience can change.


In addition, the data from healthy control subjects would also reflect the extent to which the relevant health messages had already been adopted in the general community and would reveal the subgroups of the population that have been slowest to respond to health promotion activities already in place. This is important information for refining those activities in the future.

Overall our data suggest that substantial further reductions in morbidity from ischaemic heart disease could be seen in Australia if larger proportions of the population could be persuaded to adopt and maintain a number of simple habits such as not adding salt to their food, reducing saturated fat in their diet, eating meat less often. walking regularly and avoiding passive exposure to tobacco smoke.

Here it is worth emphasizing the implied message, which is an ideological fraud and a conclusion without having procured any reliable data to sustain it: the healthy controls (selected because already healthy) were healthy solely because they listened to the "public health" propaganda (largely based on "evidence" like this!), and modified their behaviour accordingly. It follows that this trash data confirms the correctness of trash data-based "public health" propaganda on the basis that those who qualified to be controls were healthy already!

We wish this was a joke, but unfortunately it is not: it is the "scientific foundation" of lifestyle control campaigns and smoking bans.

Self-reporting, self-serving, self-confirming. This is the perfect “public health” "study", produced and paid for by “public health."

This work was supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation (HeaJthway)

That is, the entire antismoking crew!

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