Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Latest asthma wheeze

Velvet Glove, Iron Fist has a fascinating and damning analysis of the recent scare story linking a decline in UK childhood asthma hospital admissions after the 2007 smoking ban.

The Guardian report is typical.

The number of children admitted to hospital after serious asthma attacks has fallen steeply in England since smoking was banned in public places such as bars, restaurants and offices.

Hospitals recorded 6,802 fewer cases of childhood asthma in the first three years of the ban, which was introduced in England in July 2007, according to NHS figures.

Researchers said the fall came as more people imposed smoke-free homes in the wake of the legislation.

Before the change in law, hospital admissions for the condition were rising 2.2% year on year. In the first year after the ban admissions fell by 12.3%, and there were further falls of more than 3% in each of the following two years.

The same story can be found in the Mail and of course the BBC. Most people with any degree of discernment know health-related stories in the mainstream media are usually worthless, but this is a particularly good example of worthless journalism promoting dishonest research. Nothing checked, nothing verified, nothing questioned. 

The people who carried out this "research" would be hung out to dry by a competent fourth estate. Instead, the job is left to bloggers. 


Angus Dei said...

interesting that AK, I didn't know that bars, restaurants and offices were infested with asthmatic brats:)

James Higham said...

Angus has a point.

A K Haart said...

Angus and James - exactly so. The claim doesn't even pass muster at a common sense level.