In another fine display of health care journalism’s single-issue myopia, a report came out this week that men who drink copious amounts of coffee lower their risk of gout: Coffee Lowers Gout Risk. What I find deliciously funny about this — and sadly funny at the same time — is that the article addresses coffee and gout in the complete absence of everything else. This one coming from WebMD, whom you might think would be savvy enough to communicate how medical trivia like this fits in the bigger picture of your overall health.

Nevermind that you might blow out your kidneys in two years from the diuretic qualities of drinking too much coffee… Never mind that you might suffer cardiac arrest from a caffeine overdose… You’ve got that gout thing covered, so have another cup — or twelve!

UPDATE: June 4, 2007
Someone finally decided to regurgitate this single study with some context of how it fits in with a person’s overall health: Wake up and smell the coffee-Life & Style-Health-Our Experts-TimesOnline. It took over a week after this news bit was plastered whole everywhere before one lone doctor — writing in the UK for The Times, mind you — finally bothered to make sense of it for news consumers. It’s comforting to know that when the H5N1 avian flu virus goes pandemic, we’ll probably have all shot each other dead on the streets for a week before some doctor in the UK tells us not to panic.