Study: Medical 'Breakthroughs' Proven About Half the Time
Breaking health news reported online and in newspapers later proves to be true in only about half of all cases, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One. Information is later refuted in the other half, but unfortunately, those results usually don't make the front page.
There are probably multiple reasons for this. First, journalists are continuously searching for new and unexpected findings—prevalent in science and medical publications. But scientists and medical researchers are also part of the problem. Preliminary results can be exciting—much more so than in-depth follow-up studies in many cases, which often aren't covered by the news media.
When reading health news, it's important to remember that initial studies—no matter how amazing—still must be confirmed by further research. And that's not always the case.
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