Getting control of the control group

Lifestyles and emotions play important roles in many medical illnesses, and when scientists study potential treatments to help people stop smoking, get more exercise, overcome depression or improve their diet, they often compare patients who get a certain treatment to others who don’t. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Ken Freedland, MD, say to accurately measure a new therapy’s the effectiveness, it is critical to carefully define comparison — or control — groups in those studies.  

Committee recommends changes in cardiovascular disability benefits

A Washington University scientist has been working with the federal government to determine what makes heart disease disabling. To determine cardiac disability, the committee recommended more functional testing and also discussed the need to evaluate not only a patient’s heart but the patient’s mood as well because depression can make heart disease worse.