One goal of the national Healthy People 2020 initiative was to reduce the rate of first-time cesarean delivery (C-section) rates among first-time mothers with relatively low-risk pregnancies by 10% to 24.7%. Since it’s now officially 2020, journalists may want to look into how well the U.S., individual states, counties or hospitals are doing. The Healthy People 2020 goals include reducing the cesarean birth rate among women with low-risk pregnancies and a prior cesarean delivery. Continue reading
One of the biggest challenges in teasing out possible causation or directionality of an exposure and an observed phenomenon, it’s essential to consider confounding by indication. Although it’s described in the Medical Studies Core Topic Key Concepts page, it’s such an important consideration in both evaluating medical studies and in formulating questions for them that it deserves a special call-out — again and again and again.
So I’m writing three blog posts with mini case studies of confounding by indication because I REALLY want to drive home how important it is that reporters covering observational studies think hard about all the possible reasons a correlation might exist between an intervention or exposure and a subsequent intervention, medical condition or negative effect. Continue reading