Deprescribing: the most important health intervention you’ve never heard of?

Last year I spent a couple of months working as a physician in a geriatric hospital, i.e. a hospital that specializes in taking care of elderly people. One thing that struck me particularly was the large number of medications each patient was on. I don’t think it would be much of an exaggeration to say that the average patient had ten or more medications that they were taking on a daily basis. read more

Covid podcast with Ivor Cummins

I recently took part in a podcast with Ivor Cummins of Fat Emperor to discuss covid-19. Over the course of an hour we discuss what has happened in Sweden and what my experiences have been working in the Emergency Room of a hospital over the course of the pandemic. We also discuss the reasons I reached the conclusion that we must have herd immunity in Sweden, and go in depth in to the immunological reasons of how this is possible. We finish up with a discussion of mortality, and how it can be the case that 6,000 people have died of covid in Sweden without that having any measurable effect on the overall mortality rate. read more

Breast cancer screening: saving lives?

After my article showing that prostate cancer screening with the PSA-test does more harm than good, I was asked to follow up with an article looking at breast cancer screening with mammography. That turned out to be easier said than done, because virtually all studies of breast cancer screening only report the effect of screening on breast cancer mortality, not on overall mortality. read more

Vitamin C: effective against the common cold?

In 1970, two time Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling published a book called “Vitamin C and the common cold”. In it he argued that large supplemental doses of vitamin C could be used to decrease the length and severity of colds. This was the beginning of decades of controversy surrounding vitamin C (a.k.a. ascorbic acid) and its role in preventing respiratory infections, and resulted in Linus Pauling spending the last few decades of his life being derided as a quack by the medical establishment. But was he wrong? read more

Time restricted eating good for weight loss?

In recent years, one of the most popular diet interventions has been fasting, in a variety of different forms. These have included intermittent fasting diets in which you’re supposed to fast for a few days per week, such as the 5:2 diet, or a few days per month. They’ve also included various forms of time restricted eating, such as the 16:8 diet, where you’re supposed to get all your calories within an eight hour window each day, and the more extreme warrior diet, in which you’re supposed to get all your calories in a four hour window. But there is still little clarity on how effective these modifications are in terms of weight loss. And up to this point, pretty much all the evidence in support of fasting comes from animal studies, which are notoriously unreliable. read more

Herd immunity without antibodies?

“Only a minority of people in Sweden have antibodies, so they can’t have herd immunity!”

That is the most common argument I’ve been hearing for why Sweden can’t have achieved herd immunity. This is in spite of the fact that the rates of hospitalizations and deaths have dropped continuously since the peak in April, and are now stable at basement levels. read more