Are regular health checks good for you?

Regular health checks (a.k.a routine visits) are probably the bane of many a primary care physician’s existence. I can’t imagine many things more boring than running through a standardized list of questions with a patient who feels absolutely fine, then going through a list of lab values that are almost invariably within the normal reference range, and finally topping it off with a perfunctory physical … Read more

Can vitamin C prevent heart disease?

Funnily enough, considering its many purported benefits, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the vitamins that doctors are least likely to prescribe to patients. Vitamin A is given to all small children in many countries, as is vitamin D. Vitamin D is of course also frequently prescribed to patients with osteoporosis. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is regularly given to alcoholics, to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff disease. B3 … Read more

Will vigorous exercise make you live longer?

A few months back I wrote an article about the amount of exercise necessary to maximise life expectancy. That article, based on observational studies, concluded that you could get 90% of the longevity enhancing benefits of exercise with just half an hour of moderate intensity walking per day, which is nice for those, like me, who aren’t even remotely interested in intense sporting activities. … Read more

How many years of life are lost to covid?

A few weeks back I wrote an article about how high the risk of dying from covid is. I mentioned that a senior representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that the WHO’s best estimate was that roughly one in 750 people who get infected die of the disease. I also mentioned a study published by the WHO, authored by … Read more

How much do statins prolong life?

One problem with all the trials of statins is that they look at the probability of still being alive after x years. But that’s not really the question patients want answered. Patients want to know how much longer they can expect to live if they take a statin every day for the rest of their lives. Is it weeks? months? years? decades?

Considering that statins … Read more

How much exercise will maximize longevity?

In an earlier article we debunked the claim that exercise will help you lose weight. What about whether exercise will help you live longer? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not anti-exercise. There are lots of studies showing that exercise has many and varied health benefits, from improving muscle strength and balance, to decreasing the risk of fractures and delaying the onset of … Read more