2

Does ‘peer reviewed’ count for anything?

Why medical research can be ‘misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong’


 

Lose weight, live longer.

Avoid the sun, and reduce the chances of skin cancer.

Prevent Alzheimer’s disease by exercising and doing puzzles to stay mentally active.

Just when you think there are absolutes in medicine, a recent article in The Atlantic questions some basic foundations of medical science, claiming that the findings of many studies are “misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong.” In other words, doctors are relying on a system of misinformation to diagnose and treat their patients.

In the article, Dr. John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and Director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine, states that as much as 90 per cent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed.

In 2005, Dr. Ioannidis published a paper that demonstrated these “flaws” mathematically. From the article in The Atlantic:

80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials.

This is due to factors such as imperfect research techniques and, of course, the bias towards interesting-sounding theories and results over more plausible (but less interesting-sounding) ones.

photo courtesy of joebeone


 

Does ‘peer reviewed’ count for anything?

  1. I’d like to know when they are actually going to produce some results with all the “research”. Billions poured into research each year from tax payers for research into cancer etc and still no cure or even updated procedures/breakthroughs?? Perhaps its time for the public to withdraw its generous funding to medical research until some useful results are produced. When was the last time that a cure was announced …. eg small pox, polio …. in the early 1900’s?????

  2. Perhaps we will begin to look to traditional cures–that DO work!–and say ‘NO’ to all the new fads that come along to assure us that our donations are being spent well. There is a guaranteed method of healing with fasting, but doctors never recommend that! We are so addicted to the chemicals in our food supply that we can’t go without a meal of the junk! Let’s work on the fundamentals: clean air, water and food. A balanced life with an emphasis on stress-reduction. The incidence of cancer and other disease is higher now than ever. Doctors and medical researchers are NOT helping us, in fact, they are simply working the system. Wake up!

Sign in to comment.