Yet another person has tried to refute the Lancet article. John Brignell dismisses the study just because:
A relative risk of 1.5 is not acceptable as significant.
Actually the increased risk was statistically significant. You won’t find support for Brignell’s claim in any conventional statistical text or paper. To support his claim he cites a book called Sorry, wrong number!. Trouble is, that book was written by…. John Brignell. Not only that, it was drafted by… John Brignell. Brignell is a crank who dismisses the entire field of modern epidemiology as some sort of plot by scientists to scare people. We encountered him before in this post where, armed with no evidence whatsoever, he insisted that the ozone hole had always been present.
To see how silly Brignell’s “relative risk of 1.5 is not acceptable as significant” claim is, consider this: Suppose we had perfect records of every death in Iraq and there were 200,000 in the year before the invasion, and 300,000 in the year after. Then the relative risk would be 1.5 and Brignell would dismiss the increase as not significant even though in this case we have absolutely certainty that there were 100,000 extra deaths.