The Vitamin Kid

Avoiding bad medicine and finding non-toxic treatments that actually work

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Location: Ankeny, Iowa, United States

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Studies, schmudies: one third of study results don't hold up

July 13, 2005

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- New research highlights a
frustrating fact about science: What was good for you
yesterday frequently will turn out to be not so great

The sobering conclusion came in a review of major
studies published in three influential medical journals
between 1990 and 2003, including 45 highly publicized
studies that initially claimed a drug or other
treatment worked.

Subsequent research contradicted results of seven
studies -- 16 percent -- and reported weaker results
for seven others, an additional 16 percent.

Even research in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the AMA, and Lancet -- the prestigious journals reviewed in this research -- were prone to error about one third of the time.

Why? Because scientists fudge data inadvertently, and sometimes purposely. And because the results of a study are closely related to who pays for the study. Scientists may release only the studies that provide results favorable to their interests, while a study with contrary results may be shelved.

Medical breakthroughs reported in the mainstream media may or may not be real breakthroughs. Keep a realistic attitude when you read medical news. It ain't necessarily so.


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