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U of T drug researcher warns against jumping to conclusions with drug data

While researchers at Stanford University probe patient data to look for a potential link between a family of popular heartburn drugs and heart attack, a University of Toronto researcher warns against jumping to conclusions based on data correlates. 

“The problem is, it's very easy to do studies of this sort that lead to conclusions that can be misleading. I know because I've done that myself,” says Dr. David Juurlink, a drug-safety researcher from U of T. The drug family in question, proton-pump inhibitors, includes popular heartburn treatments like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, and are generally considered more effective at treating heartburn than other drug combinations.

Juurlink's warning essentially urges researchers to remember that correlation does not necessarily equal causation; it’s better to get a more complete picture before advising physicians on courses of patient care. Of course, with repercussions as severe as potentially life-threatening heart attacks, the Toronto researcher's stance poses a point of contention. 

Read the full story here.
Source: NPR
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