Dr Google is a liar

While misinformation has been the object of great attention in politics, medical misinformation on the Internet might have an even greater body count.

It started during yoga class. She felt a strange pull on her neck, a sensation completely foreign to her. Her friend suggested she rush to the emergency room. It turned out she was having a heart attack.

She did not fit the stereotype of someone likely to have a heart attack. She exercised, did not smoke, watched her plate. But on reviewing her medical history, I found that her cholesterol level was sky high. She had been prescribed a cholesterol-lowering statin medication, but she never picked up the prescription because of the scary things she had read about statins on the Internet.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2018, with the headline 'Dr Google is a liar'. Print Edition | Subscribe