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Most people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the harms of medical intervention. Barbara M./Flickr

Great expectations: our naive optimism about medical care

“It might do me some good and it won’t hurt to give it a go.” How often have you heard a phrase like this? Most people have naïve optimism about medical care. That’s the finding of a systematic review…
Whether the harms of statins outweigh their benefits depends on how you balance them up. AJ Cann/Flickr

Statins saga shows some of the perils of modern medicine

A panel convened by medical journal BMJ to investigate whether it was right to correct rather than retract two pieces featuring a mistake about side effects from statins has endorsed the journal’s decision…
Labelling a risk factor as a medical condition stimulates the therapeutic reflex to treat, which may have minimal or no benefit yet risk all the adverse effects. John Chamberlain

When does ‘abnormal’ actually impact your health?

Anyone, it seems, can create an epidemic. Witness a recent article in the Fairfax papers that provides “startling” news about the large number of Australians with high cholesterol who don’t even know they…
There’s virtually no difference in cancer incidence between women aged 20-24 years who screened are and those who are not. Spirit-Fire/Flickr

Cervical cancer screening shouldn’t start until 25

Women in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all soon be advised to start screening for cervical cancer at 25 years, and those aged between 50 and 64 years to screen every five years rather…

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