So an association is found–between drugs and later dementia.
Wow–like those Ascherio and Willett Nurse Study Group announcements.
Small associations, multiple inquiry, no plausible mechanism, and I am tired of this crap–but it will make the news.
These researchers might even get some more funding.
Observational epidemiological studies with small associations are nada, nothing, zilch. Real effect is seen in strong–as in 100% effect–a doubling of the rate is not that much really, so most journals demand Relative Risk of 3 or 4 in loosey goosey observational studies.
In political hot button and agency priority areas, though, with high public concerns, like air pollution scares or research on cancer of the breast or Alzheimer’s and dementia, the political arena these stupid studies get treated well, and in some cases silly observational (ecological) studies are treated like they were randomized and controlled trials with double blinding, cross over and good plausibility.
The authors sort of lamely admit to the limitations of the study and suggest it is hypothesis generating–apparently fishing for grant money? Imagine that.