Bias

Although evidence-based medical research is used as a basis for the information articles on this site, I must confess to certain biases.

 

(1) Just because a study has “statistically proven” a benefit for a drug/treatment, I do not always encourage it unless it ‘overwhelmingly’ is beneficial to a patient: in other words, a few percentage points of improvement compared to an alternative doesn’t mean everyone must use that drug/treatment, even though there may be established guidelines supporting it. Statistical benefit does not always translate into a clinical or personal benefit. In seniors, drugs have so many more side-effects that, for the drug to be safely helpful its benefit must really outweigh the risks.

 

(2) Philosophically, I am biased against non-comfort drugs in seniors and I encourage non-drug or a natural approach whenever possible. From personal observation, and from published studies, seniors feel better on fewer drugs. That’s not to say there aren’t helpful drugs—but caution is always advisable—the medical adage is “start low, go slow”.

 

(3) Finally, and most importantly, I believe once a person is over 70, life is meant to be enjoyed: eat and drink what you want; don’t be obsessed with taking a lot of “preventive” drugs or worrying about cholesterol; quality in life is more important than quantity of years (but each of us must choose what’s important for ourselves and must be able to live with the decision.) Within reason, seek things which will help you to be comfortable, avoid things which will not, and “let go and let God”, accepting whatever comes your way. [the problem is, “will your kids let you do this?”]