Medical news: Act now, or hold back?

Asking some simple questions can help you determine what medical research to pay attention to and when to wait for more information.

Every day there's something new in the world of medical research, and sometimes the results conflict. Eggs are good for your heart, or not. First surgery is advised to repair tears to cartilage in the knee, then nonsurgical options are favored. Do this, not that, for better health. For many women, all this information is a little confusing. When should you change your health habits, and when should you wait for more information? How can you tell the difference?

"It can be difficult for the consumer to know what research study is preliminary at best and in need of replication, versus a study that should cause you to change your life," says Dr. Andrew Budson, a lecturer in neurology at Harvard Medical School and chief of cognitive and behavioral neurology at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

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