Monthly Archives: August 2010

Two-thirds of medical research is wrong or fraudulent

“Have you been left confused by expert health advice?  Even people like me, with years of experience in science and medical journalism, are left scratching our heads when research is contradicted by other studies or turns out to be wrong.

…John Ioannidis, a doctor specialising in infectious diseases who is also a medical research analyst, has looked at hundreds of studies and discovered that two in every three conclusions published in medical journals are later found to be wrong.

The problem is that those are the sorts of conclusion your doctor reads when deciding if it makes sense to prescribe an antibiotic for your child’s ear infection, or if the benefits outweigh the risks in suggesting that middle-aged men take a small daily dose of aspirin”

(Well if antibiotics are prescribed for childhood ear infections then the infection is more likely to re-occur.  Oh well, Grommets to the rescue!)

Listed as reasons are total fraud, fiddled results, studying wrong mammals, moving goal posts…

So where is the evidence base then?

It has to be a combination of research, common sense according to givens, experience, observation and long term study…. As a mother in her middle age with healthy children I feel ‘qualified’ in some of those areas and so should you.


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