NPR: “Should You Trust That New Medical Study?”

A quick read from NPR: “Should You Trust That New Medical Study?”  No.

Here’s an excerpt:

As historian of science Naomi Oreskes says …, “What makes it news is that it’s new…My view would be that brand new results would be the most likely to be wrong.”

… We should infer the efficacy of a new drug or the benefits or harms of foods from a sample of studies, not a single new one. Of course, most people don’t have the time or the inclination to go through the exercise. When it comes to health, we want to believe in a new cure, for obvious reasons. Our skepticism must be doubled precisely to prevent being misled by hope. (Although hope and a positive attitude are known contributors to healing.) The responsibility, thus, rests with scientists and the media to promote the news carefully — and with the general consumer to keep the news in perspective.

Unrelated link: Nuts Associated with Improved Longevity (from NY Times)

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