The Online Health Articles You Shouldn’t Trust

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A blue stethoscope sitting on a laptop

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of Web sites offering health-related resources grows larger every day. While many online health resources can be useful, others may publish information that isn’t accurate.

So, which sites can you really trust?

According to a new study, not Wikipedia: a new study has found that 90% percent of health articles on the popular “collaboratively-edited Internet Encyclopedia” contain errors.

American researchers compared the online encyclopedia’s entries about 10 conditions with peer reviewed medical research and found that most Wikipedia articles contained multiple mistakes, says HealthDay.

The 10 conditions included in the study were the “most costly” in the United States and included asthma, depression, lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease, back problems and osteoarthritis.

“While Wikipedia is a convenient tool for conducting research, from a public health standpoint patients should not use it as a primary resource because those articles do not go through the same peer-review process as medical journals,” said lead author Dr Robert Hasty, of the Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina.

The “best resource” for people with health concerns is their doctor, Hasty added.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

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