Advertisement: "In the past 12 months, worldwide there have been 261 articles published in the peer-reviewed medical literature about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); there are 4,655 articles about CFS listed in PubMed.
The article published last week in the journal Science linking CFS and xenotropic murine retrovirus (XMRV) has received sustained international media attention. Even with a discovery as important as this one, it will be subject to various interpretations and will likely prompt numerous attempts to replicate the finding, the basis of “the scientific method.”
“Understanding Risk: What Do Those Headlines Really Mean?”
Every day in the newspaper or on television we see stories about new medical findings. Perhaps we hear that a certain drug causes a 300% or three-fold increase in strokes. That’s a large increase—it sounds scary. But, if you know that in every 10,000 people not taking the drug, there are two strokes, then a three-fold increase really only means six more strokes. Maybe that’s not quite so frightening. It’s also confusing that sometimes stories seem to report opposite results—a new vaccine prevents a devastating infection, or it doesn’t. How are we to make sense of such stories? How do we know what to believe?
Fact sheet from the
National Institute of AgingThis fact sheet (http://www.nia.nih.gov/Hea"