Why review a study when someone else has already done so?

I can think of a half dozen reasons, but none of them are convincing to me today. So I will just say that if you have an interest in the continuing debate about the relationship between a certain type of commonly prescribed antidepressants and suicide, please check out CL Psych’s Peer Review, SSRIs, Suicide, and Booze. Here’s a choice quote:

The authors ran a total of zero statistical analyses to examine the relationship between SSRI prescription rates and suicide rates in the United States. That’s right, zero.

Can’t be much more clearer than that. Why a respected journal like the American Journal of Psychiatry would publish such a study is beyond me. Just shows you that even peer-reviewed journals don’t always get it right (and should not be blindly trusted as the end-all, be-all of empirical evidence).

The short version — the data everyone reported on last week about this relationship is so seriously flawed, just ignore all those stories about the supposed causal relationship (or “link” if you like that word better) between the FDA warning on certain antidepressants and an increase in suicide rates. It apparently doesn’t exist. (At least not in any scientifically reliable way.)

BTW, yes, The Boston Globe agrees. And for some broader context, I couldn’t recommend more The New York Times article that appeared yesterday, Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy? (although, be prepared, it’s long as a 9-page read).