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15 March, 2007

Bad science reporting

Various media sources have been reporting the allegation that those who spend long periods at an office desk and/or computer are at greater risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) than long-haul air passengers.  It's a compelling story, but unfortunately not one supported by evidence.

The study typically cited merely said that a greater proportion of patients admitted to hospital with DVT had been seated at work for long periods than had been occupied cramped airline seats. That's merely a reflection of the general population: a greater absolute number of people work in offices than fly long distances.

[I've tried to find an online example of the wrongly-interpreted story, but it seems some archived articles are being rewritten, and others might change between me offering links and you clicking through, which would make me look foolish rather than the true culprits.]

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