The “get in early!” assumption has an in-built tendency to lead us astray when it comes to detection of diseases and conditions. And even most physicians – just the people we often rely on to inform us – don’t understand enough about the pitfalls that lead us to jump to conclusions about early detection too, well…early.
- Those who need it least get the most early detection
- Over-diagnosis from detecting people who would never have become ill from the condition detected
- The statistical effect that means survival rates “improve” even if no one’s life expectancy increases
Hilda Bastian is Editor etc at PubMed Health, blogger at Scientific American. Commenting on epidemiology with cartoons at Statistically funny.
Continue reading What’s so good about “early,” anyway?, by Hilda Bastian
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