In #RaceInABottle, Jonathan Kahn exhaustively documented these studies. Tiny, non-random samples extrapolated to millions. Bad statistics + bad theory. I prefer a different subgroup, repeatedly shown to have biologic import: astrological sign. A thread:

jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/…
For no reason in particular, I will point out that analyses just like this have found powerful biological differences amongst people from different astrological signs. Pisces patients have a decreased risk of sepsis death following fluid restoration.

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26947417/
On the perils of subgroup analysis, part II:

Gemini and Libra patients do not benefit from aspirin post myocardial infarct thelancet.com/journals/lance…
On the perils of racial subgroup analysis, part III:

Leo patients have the highest risk of gastrointestinal hemmorhage (P=0.0447)

Sagittarians have the highest risk of humerus fracture. (P=0.0123)
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16895820/
to be clear, the biological impacts of racism on race/class subjugated people are real and dangerous. these are sites of intervention. poorly theorized, poorly designed studies like the one JAMA editors just chose to publish are noisy distractions
My last question for @JAMA_current editors: I notice you allowed an article describing human beings as "mixed". That clearly implies the other groups were *pure*.

Will you issue a public statement on your efforts to establish editorial standards which renounce eugenics?

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More from @rfrosencrans

5 Sep
Trials claiming benefits of weight loss *actually* measure many effects of pleiotropic interventions (incl. weight loss). But we don't manipulate weight. No manipulation, no causality.

It's scientifically irresponsible to confuse a DEPENDENT VARIABLE W/ THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE
I am a fierce advocate for exercise and healthy foods. I reject the idea that they matter only insofar as they decrease weight. But that's the message of these studies. Weight loss gets all the credit. It gets the title. It gets the abstract. It gets the punchy headline.
Let's have some fun today. Anyone on #medtwitter #nursetwitter or just a human interested in the *body weight independent* benefits of exercise and fitness on the following: NAFLD, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, all cause mortality?

or how about just improving quality of life?
Read 17 tweets
31 Aug
I’m an adipose tissue biologist. I study sympathetic nerve action on adipocytes. This month is my first committee meeting since beginning to intensely read weight bias literature. I’m nervous to hear a group of old school researchers respond to my new ideas. But it isn’t optional
It’s about responsible conduct of research. it’s also about me. I’ve never been a “normal weight”. Ever. 10 year vegan, 15 year long distance runner. I’m engaged in auto-ethnography deconstructing my own health journey. Decoupling weight and health.
These are the things I know: exercise and healthy, culturally appropriate diet are critical to human health. Large bodied and small bodied people do not consistently differ in these variables. I know this from data. I know this because I am one of these people.
Read 11 tweets
1 Aug
Much rhetoric around obesity as a critical pre-existing condition for Covid-19.

A key lesson from H1N1 epidemic: meta analyses (n=25,189) showed an odds ratio of 1.8 for fatality amongst obese people. Until they controlled for one key variable

1/n

#HAES #fatphobia #medtwitter
Smaller bodied people *systematically* received earlier antiviral treatment than larger bodied people. Controlling for this difference eliminates impact of obesity on H1N1 fatality. Obesity kills, but the critical mediator is not biology, it's bias.

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27385315/
H1N1 and coronavirus are not the same; but these results should encourage us to think critically about the current alarm bells. The concern should be directed inwardly, to providers, and outwardly, to an inequitable society.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
Friends, especially White friends, in academic medicine wondering what you can do and what issues you can advocate for. A non-comprehensive breakdown by specialty. I remind you that pledging to stop hate is not enough. What you do in this moment should make you uncomfortable.
All: Faculty should advocate for a *written* statement from their Deans stating: any med student arrested in connection with protests (for any reason, violent or nonviolent #CopsLie) will not be penalized, but will instead receive a letter of commendation for living their oath.
Medical students are one of many groups out here risking our lives. Will you risk writing an email to protect our professional futures?
Read 24 tweets
10 Apr 19
my personal rule: when a biomedical researcher starts discussing putative biological differences across the (stable, eternal, ahistorical) "races", quadruple check their citations.
unsurprisingly, they almost always fail to apply the concept of social construction (although they understand it). much more surprisingly, they are often wrong in regards to the specific findings they are describing.
today, my pharmacogenomics professor informed us confidently that "blacks have low Cyp3a5 activity". (cyp=enzyme that break down certain drugs)
Read 9 tweets
8 Dec 18
“Sickness doesn’t terrify me, and death doesn’t terrify me. What terrifies me is that you can disappear because someone’s telling the wrong story about you.”

-@unrestfilm
This film gut-punch reminds us that medical research is always lost before it’s found. But progress begins with believing in patients’ experiences.
It takes an arrogance, at this stage in biological discovery, to reduce symptoms to a patient’s imagination. Our measurements are not so powerful, our theories not so complete. There is time yet for more than one paradigm shift in the biology of complex diseases.
Read 7 tweets

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