Killer Commercial Airlines
October 9, 2013
27. Major news outlets are reporting today that science has produced a link with jet aircraft and heart attacks. No it is not a chemtrail story, it is another example of thrill science publishing and reporting.Chemtrails are all over the internet, and purported to be part of a government conspiracy to poison or control populations. This is complete psuedoscience and fear mongering debunked in skeptoid episode
"Exposure to Aircraft noise may increase the risk of hospitalizations for heart problems". When I first read the story, I immediately assumed reporter error and twisted exaggeration. Not at all. It is the BMJ that is at fault here.
I am dismayed by the conclusions of the actual study. I have to give the media a partial pass because analyzing the complicated double speak is difficult. The conclusions of this study are on such shaky ground that my initial impression is that this is one of the well known BMJ "Joke" studies that it publishes annually in the Christmas holiday edition. As far as I can tell the paper seems serious and not a spoof.
The title of the paper is"Aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow airport in London: small area study". It proposes that having controlled for the confounding factors as best they can, the authors see a statistically significant link between exposure to aircraft noise; coronary artery disease, stroke and mortality.
My Opinion, I am stunned that this pile of tripe got published. It is a very nice statistical exercise but what it really says about anything is unclear. There is so much wrong methodologically that I hope the conclusions from this data cannot be serious. It may have been done on purpose. Either to expose poor science reporting, study poor science reporting, or to try to drum up public support financially for their research. That can explain the author's fail. It completely escapes me why the BMJ would publish it as a serious paper.
Here are a few of the major methodological error highlights making the stated conclusion impossible to determine.
Utter and complete rubbish, shame on the BMJ. The study is slick and well done I can only fault the reporting to a point. If science reporters just called anyone with medical expertise and asked for a medical opinion on this study it wouldn't be the lead medical story for the day. That is also probably why media outlets don't do that.
@Skeptoid Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit