New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

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pwa
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby pwa » 22 Feb 2019, 8:08am

The utility cyclist wrote:
pwa wrote:The usual problem exists, i.e. no way of knowing whether the helmeted / non-helmeted groups who did not feel the need to attend hospital were the same or different. To make any judgement at all you would need to actually look at all the accidents, not just those that resulted in a hospital visit.

but we do know that some 1.3 million head injuries are reported to health professionals and some 160,000 per annum are admitted for a stay in hospital, that's not even all serious head injuries as some will be defined as serious but not need a hospital stay.
The significant differential between hospitalised cyclists due solely to head injury and those from the rest of society is massive, it's about time there was investment in helmets for everyone except for those on bike as it's fairly clear people on bikes are small fry when it comes to these injury types

We also know that since the mid 00s that cyclist serious injuries on the roads, a significant proportion of them to the head, has gone up not down and further that the rate of injury has dropped significantly in pedestrians over the same period. And what happened in the mid 00s ... cycling helmets were being worn in hugely greater numbers, an offshoot of the decision by the UCI so BS took up the exact same stance, cycling club members increasingly wore them, government, police and other ne'er do wells also started to massively push the victim blaming trope by encouraging and yes forcing people to wear them. It's gone downhill in terms of injuries for incidents ever since.
That is very significant with respect to bhow ineffective plastic hats are, you don't need to look at every individual incident when the headline figures are so glaringly obvious!

But all my falls on a bike since I became an adult have gone unreported, because I just get up and limp away. If my helmet had been saving me it would not have been showing up on any statistics. It didn't save me, actually, but that hasn't been recorded either. And you talk about a rise in cycling injuries since the mid noughties, but if you are being rigorous with statistics, which you must, you have to consider all the possible things going on that might conceivably have affected that. I'm not going to do it, but over a cup of coffee I could string together half a dozen other possible explanations, and when we have so many potential unmeasured variables we have zilch. You have your own thoughts about helmet use and you might be right or you might be wrong, but I don't see how anyone could hope to find conclusive proof of anything at the turnstile of A&E. Any answers lie out on the roads and any study looking for real definitive answers would be a very well funded and complex one.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby Wanlock Dod » 22 Feb 2019, 9:47am

pwa wrote:... Any answers lie out on the roads and any study looking for real definitive answers would be a very well funded and complex one.

Plenty of well funded studies have been out looking for the definitive evidence that helmets are the solution to motorists not looking where they are going, but as yet none of them seem to have been able to demonstrate it. As long as we believe that another, bigger and better, study is required to provide the proof that is desired we divert attention away from the real issues which could actually help.

It is my view that helmets have been providing the perfect distraction of attention away from anything which might result in real progress towards cyclist safety in many countries with poor safety records for cycling, of which Little Britain is just one.

pwa
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby pwa » 22 Feb 2019, 9:56am

Wanlock Dod wrote:
pwa wrote:... Any answers lie out on the roads and any study looking for real definitive answers would be a very well funded and complex one.

Plenty of well funded studies have been out looking for the definitive evidence that helmets are the solution to motorists not looking where they are going, but as yet none of them seem to have been able to demonstrate it. As long as we believe that another, bigger and better, study is required to provide the proof that is desired we divert attention away from the real issues which could actually help.

It is my view that helmets have been providing the perfect distraction of attention away from anything which might result in real progress towards cyclist safety in many countries with poor safety records for cycling, of which Little Britain is just one.


TBH I think it likely that the situation is so complex that it is unlikely there will be any study that comes near to providing s definitive answer to the question of whether using a helmet makes you less (or more) at risk.

Does the helmet question deflect attention for other things that should be done? It doesn't deflect my own attention. Maybe we should all be wearing helmets so the issue stops being an issue then any remaining safety problems can't be "addressed" by looking in that direction. (Deliberately and playfully provocative, so no need to respond if you don't like).

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pjclinch
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby pjclinch » 22 Feb 2019, 12:12pm

pwa wrote:
Wanlock Dod wrote:
pwa wrote:... Any answers lie out on the roads and any study looking for real definitive answers would be a very well funded and complex one.

Plenty of well funded studies have been out looking for the definitive evidence that helmets are the solution to motorists not looking where they are going, but as yet none of them seem to have been able to demonstrate it. As long as we believe that another, bigger and better, study is required to provide the proof that is desired we divert attention away from the real issues which could actually help.

It is my view that helmets have been providing the perfect distraction of attention away from anything which might result in real progress towards cyclist safety in many countries with poor safety records for cycling, of which Little Britain is just one.


TBH I think it likely that the situation is so complex that it is unlikely there will be any study that comes near to providing s definitive answer to the question of whether using a helmet makes you less (or more) at risk.


Among people that seem to be in agreement would be David Spiegelhalter and Ben Goldacre. Look them up if you're not familiar. They wrote a BMJ editorial back in 2013 which largely boils down to Goldacre's catch-phrase, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that" Read it here... https://www.badscience.net/2013/12/bicycle-helmets-and-the-law-a-perfect-teaching-case-for-epidemiology/

It's worth noting that that kind of work comes down to the case for (or against) helmets being "not proven". And that is enough to undermine the case for them as a public health intervention. Not for the first time I think The Utility Cyclist is rather over-egging the Helmets Are Evil pudding.

pwa wrote:Does the helmet question deflect attention for other things that should be done? It doesn't deflect my own attention. Maybe we should all be wearing helmets so the issue stops being an issue then any remaining safety problems can't be "addressed" by looking in that direction. (Deliberately and playfully provocative, so no need to respond if you don't like).


Does it deflect attention? It's easy enough to find anecdotes at least that illustrate that. Last week I had a letter published in the local paper in response to a call for more helmet wearing based on an accident a local lad had had. He was riding home from school when he lost control (which shouldn't have happened) and his bike left the pavement (where it shouldn't have been) and he rode in to a bus, breaking the windscreen. He wasn't wearing a helmet and went to hospital where he was treated for cuts to his scalp and a broken wrist. This week he was pictured looking pretty much okay (aside from a sling) with his pals who were launching a crowd-fund for a new bike. So he wasn't wearing a helmet, the worst injury would not have been addressed by a helmet, and either training to national standards or a better environment where he didn't feel he should be on a pavement would probably have prevented the crash altogether. Yet his dad was calling for more helmets.

I know you're being Devil's Advocate at the end, but it wouldn't help. We know it wouldn't help because you have to wear in Oz, yet the serious accident rate hasn't obviously gone down and cyclists are still subject to widespread victim blaming and intelligent ways of dealing with the issues are not appearing. It has, however, become politically incorrect to suggest that helmets are not saving countless lives.

Pete.
Last edited by pjclinch on 22 Feb 2019, 12:32pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pjclinch
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby pjclinch » 22 Feb 2019, 12:29pm

pwa wrote:But all my falls on a bike since I became an adult have gone unreported, because I just get up and limp away. If my helmet had been saving me it would not have been showing up on any statistics.


This is one reason why deaths are a useful measure of safety, because deaths tend to be reported. The less serious the accident the more it is unreported. The spec to which a cycle helmet is designed (a plain fall to the ground) is quite typically not going to end up in A&E. The minor injuries for which we might reasonably assume they will help are an area of such terrible data it's more or less impossible to measure anything.

However, if your helmet does save you in a representative fashion it does get in to the stats, because the incidence of a serious injury will be absent, rather than present. If helmets were saving serious injuries systematically across all accident victims then the presentation of serious injuries should go down with increased helmet wearing if all else were equal. It doesn't.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby Wanlock Dod » 22 Feb 2019, 1:37pm

There certainly seems to be no shortage of evidence that helmet use is quite strongly correlated with dangerous cycling conditions, and the direction is clearly a positive one (i.e a positive relationship such that more dangerous cycling conditions are associated with more helmet use). That certainly seems to be consistent with the concern that helmet use tends to deter cycling, given that the only factor which is consistently and positively associated with safe cycling conditions is the number of cyclists (see Cycling UK Safety in Numbers).

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The utility cyclist
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby The utility cyclist » 22 Feb 2019, 10:18pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:
pwa wrote:... Any answers lie out on the roads and any study looking for real definitive answers would be a very well funded and complex one.

Plenty of well funded studies have been out looking for the definitive evidence that helmets are the solution to motorists not looking where they are going, but as yet none of them seem to have been able to demonstrate it. As long as we believe that another, bigger and better, study is required to provide the proof that is desired we divert attention away from the real issues which could actually help.

It is my view that helmets have been providing the perfect distraction of attention away from anything which might result in real progress towards cyclist safety in many countries with poor safety records for cycling, of which Little Britain is just one.


Quite, in Australia cycling and overall road KSIs were going down steadily, when Aus police/gov focused on drink driving, speeding and other motoring crimes in the mid to late 80s these dropped furthe. Helmet laws came along, what happened, focus went onto the vulnerable (AKA victim blaming) KSIs went up across the board, post law whilst there was a drop in road KSIs this was at a lower rate than since before 1970 and indeed due to massive numbers of people giving up cycling the KSI rate for people on bikes stopped dropping and has never recovered. That's even worse when you consider similar to here the ped KSI rate has dropped further and that cycling trips as a % of population increases have gone down significantly in every state barring Tasmania.

These important tit-bits are something that the likes of Jake Olivier omits to include in his 'studies' and when he unilaterally attributes all the 'saved' lives to helmet use - without a scrap of evidence to prove ANY were saved! :twisted:

swansonj
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby swansonj » 23 Feb 2019, 8:05am

This study was published in a journal published by Chembio Publishers. Chembio are listed on Beall’s list of Predatory Journals. Translation for those not au fait with the latest trends in scientific publishing: this should not be regarded as a proper peer reviewed scientific publication.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: New study finds there "was no difference in mortality between helmeted and non-helmeted"

Postby The utility cyclist » 25 Feb 2019, 3:11am

swansonj wrote:This study was published in a journal published by Chembio Publishers. Chembio are listed on Beall’s list of Predatory Journals. Translation for those not au fait with the latest trends in scientific publishing: this should not be regarded as a proper peer reviewed scientific publication.

just like the BS that Jake Olivier and pals come up with, he's a perverter of facts and a disgrace, flagrantly abusing his position to meet his paymasters criteria as well as going directly against his own advice re meta analysis.
His papers are reviewed and found to be full of holes every single time!