Sydney has entered another phase of lockdown, and we are repeatedly told by our political leaders and health authorities that their decisions were guided by science. They even assure us that lockdowns work. Well, I beg to differ.

I must admit that I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the ongoing lockdown in Sydney. I cannot watch the daily briefings of the NSW Premier and her lieutenants anymore, because they seem to recycle the same idea over and over again. I cannot watch the TV evening news anymore, because they are now propagating scaremongering of the worst type. The so-called ‘mainstream…

A friend of mine is hesitant to take an AstraZeneca (AZ) jab, because he believes that the vaccine is less effective and has higher risk of blood clot than Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine. He is not alone, many Australians, including the educated ones, hold the same view. I beg to differ. In this note, I point out that the two vaccines have similar incidence of blood clot and almost identical effectiveness.

In Australia, the AZ vaccine has a rather bad publicity. After a few days of rolling out the vaccine in April 2021, a 48 yr old woman had died from…

You bet. Health authorities and experts keep reminding us that delta variant represents the ‘greatest threat’ to the nation’s effort of eliminating Covid-19. Some experts even warned us that the Delta variant is deadlier than the original Alpha variant. I have done a little research and found that some of the experts’ assertions seem unfounded.

We all know that the Delta variant was first identify in Maharashtra (India) in October 2020. Since then, the variant has been found in more than 77 countries or territories in the world [1]. In the United States alone, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the…

I am an executive member of the Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO), a non-profit organization that aims at developing solutions to osteoporosis care in the Asia Pacific region. In this blog entry, I explore the relationship between osteoporotic fracture and mortality that is not widely appreciated in the medical community. This article was originally published on APCO website:

Fragility fracture is associated with increased mortality risk, but this relationship is not widely appreciated.

My neighbour, a 70-year old, physically active man, broke his hip after falling from a staircase. He was admitted to hospital for treatment, which cost more…

The unfortunate post-vaccinated death of a 48 yr old woman last week has raised concerns about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine (Vaxzevria). Here, I offer my interpretation of the risk in terms of micromort, and then my analysis of risk and benefit of the vaccination program.

Quantifying risk in micromort

The micromort concept was advanced by Ronald A. Howard in the 1980s for decision making. Basically, micromort (micro-mortality) is a way of representing probability of mortality for small and acute risks. Howard defined that a micromort is one-in-a-million chance of dying. So, if an activity that is associated with…

It is well established that patients with a hip fracture have increased mortality risk. A recent analysis of Norway registry data by my friend, Haakon Meyer, and his colleagues show that hip fracture patients living alone would suffer a greater risk of death than those living with a partner [1]. However, having read the paper, I have come up with another interpretation: yes, living alone was associated with increased mortality risk, but the impact of hip fracture on mortality was greater than living alone.

To me, the data shown in Figure 1 of the paper are the most revealing ones…

For decades, stem cell therapy and stem cell research have generated much hope and controversy for the public and scientific community alike. While the controversy is still raging, the publication of ‘Flesh Made New’, a popular science book, is a timely contribution. In this book, hematologist and stem cell expert John Rasko teamed up with historian and writer Carl Power to chart the 100-year history of stem cell research, and the result is a mesmerising narrative of successes, failures, promises, even frauds.

Dr. Carl Power (left) and Professor John Rasko (right), authors of ‘Flesh Made New.’ Photo: raskolab.com.au

Most of us are no stranger to stem cells. Over the past 10 years or so, stem cell…

It is my great pleasure to introduce my latest work [1] concerning the relationship between fracture and mortality. In this paper we wanted to redefine the concept of fracture risk that includes fracture risk and mortality risk, and to transform the risks into “Skeletal Age”.

We have known for some time that a bone fracture is associated with mortality. The risk of mortality after a hip fracture is increased by 2.9-fold (95% CI, 2.5 to 3.3) in women and 3.7-fold (3.3 to 4.1) in men. Moreover, about 30% of patients with a hip fracture will die within 12 months.

In…

On this Australia Day (26/1) exactly 39 years ago I came to Australia as a refugee. It has been a long and winding journey, but I have survived and made meaningful contributions to this beautiful country that I call home. On 26/1 people are talking about ‘invasion day’, but I am talking about a personal Thanksgiving day. My story started with a hilarious interview in Songkhla Refugee Camp (Thailand) 40 years ago.

Leaving Vietnam

On April 16, 1981, my elder brother, my sister, I and 20 friends left Vietnam in a wooden fishing boat heading toward Thailand. Some friends were…

Norwegian health authority reported that 33 people had died after receiving the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine [1]. The news has generated concern and even fear among the general community. However, my evaluation suggests that the fear is not founded.

It is hard to make sense out of the 33 deaths without knowing the number of vaccinated people. According to The Age, Norway has vaccinated approximately 42,000 elderly people, mostly in nursing homes. Thus, the one-week risk of mortality is 0.078%.

Is the 0.078% risk too high? No. In a study published in PLoS ONE, the investigators followed 690…

Tuan Nguyen

osteoporosis | epidemiology | genetics | biostatistics | data enthusiast

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