March 26, 2014
Half of Americans Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories
Wary of the U.S. medical system? You are not alone. Turns out, nearly half of all American adults believe in some sort of health conspiracy theory, according to new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine and reported by Reuters.
For the study, scientists at the University of Chicago used online survey data from 1,351 adults and then weighted the numbers to represent the U.S. population. In the end, 49 percent of respondents said they agreed with at least one of six popular conspiracies.
Scientists say the most popular allegations by the American public included the idea that U.S. regulators prevent people from pursuing natural cures for their illnesses (37 percent agreed) and that vaccines can cause psychological disorders such as autism (20 percent agreed).
Other well-known conspiracy theories include the belief that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with HIV in the early days of the epidemic, the idea that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being used to shrink the human population, and that water fluoridation is a way for “the man” to drop dangerous toxins into the environment. Many respondents also believed that the U.S. government knows that cell phones cause cancer but is doing nothing about it.
“Science in general—medicine in particular—is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” said J. Eric Oliver, PhD, lead author of the study. Many people, he said, believe these conspiracies because they are easier to understand than complex medical data.
However, he also acknowledged that these theories are far more widely known and endorsed than previously thought—and that this could have huge implications for medical providers.
People who believe these theories may be less likely to follow a prescription drug regimen and might be more flexible to alternative therapies. The study authors suggest that instead of writing off such patients as crazy, doctors and researchers should give them better information about health and science.
To read the Reuters article, click here.
Search: conspiracy theories, natural cures, HIV, vaccines, GMOs, water fluoridation, cell phones
Scroll down to comment on this story.
comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)
Vic, Philly, 2014-04-11 19:28:18
Just to clarify.....convinced I tested HIV poz from the Hep B vaccine I received in 1982
Shapoval, Zaporizhia, 2014-04-11 10:47:32
The Father of Oncology (Vadim Shapoval) says that a cell needs to have iron overload (when excess iron accumulates within cellular organelles) before it becomes cancerous. According to the Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory (Theory from the Old Testament; Iron Conception), any cancer is a subtle iron disease, a form of iron lottery. Cancer researchers ignore iron/cancer information-1905-2014. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars every year.
Vic, Philly, 2014-04-10 23:29:17
Jay....convinced I tested positive from hep b vaccine I received in very early 1980's. Never been able to prove it. Would be great to talk to you...
Sue, , 2014-03-30 17:51:14
The fact that the pharma industry has a hold on our medical system is not a conspiracy theory. The fact that nutrition is sometimes more useful than drugs is not a conspiracy theory. Here is an example of a surgeon having better results by ditching statins for dietary changes like eliminating sugar, eating more animal fat www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10717431/Why-Ive-ditched-statins-for-good.html
Docs, researchers and POZ should learn more about nutrition than just meds for HIV and other illnesse
Jay John, portland, 2014-03-28 20:33:57
comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)
...I spent 2 years as a news researcher for a network organization( 1979-82) The first theory was the link between HIV and the tainting of the (then) Hepatitis culture. In the late 70's gay men were being inoculated against Hepatitis and contracted HIV. Has anyone heard of this theory? I sure did and worked it to no avail.
[Go to top]