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Health experts 'sound the alarm' on medical misinformation
eMediNexus,  29 January 2019
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#Business And Medicine #Cardiology #Neurology #Pharmacist #Psychiatry

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"Fake news" has become a popular term these days. But when it comes to medical advice, fake news can result in physical harm, even death. The editors of more than two dozen cardiology-related scientific journals around the world published an editorial Monday “Medical Misinformation: Vet the Message!” to "sound the alarm that human lives are at stake" because of medical misinformation.

These physicians describe regularly encountering patients hesitant to take potentially lifesaving medications or adhere to other prescribed treatments because of something they read online. Or heard from friends. Or saw on television.

The primary example illustrated in the editorial is the use of statins, a cholesterol-lowering medicine that can reduce heart attack and stroke risk in certain people. But doctors say too many of their patients shun taking statins because of bad information they picked up – often from politicians, celebrities and others who lack medical expertise. Another example highlighted is "the entirely unfounded" concern that vaccines cause autism, a claim that has been debunked by 17 major studies.

"We trust aeronautical science when we board an airplane; we trust the science buried within our cellphones; we trust mechanical engineering science when we cross a bridge; yet, many are uniquely skeptical of biological science," the doctors write in their essay… (AHA News Release, Jan. 28, 2019).

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