San Francisco – If you’ve fractured your pelvis recently or are suffering from morning sickness, maybe you should blame your horoscope.
A tongue-in-cheek survey carried out by Canadian researchers has found an increased incidence of certain conditions linked to various astrological signs.
Virgos have an increased risk of vomiting during pregnancy while Pisces have an increased risk of heart failure. Libras, meanwhile, appear to be more likely to suffer a broken pelvis.
In fact, each of the 12 star signs has at least two associated medical disorders, according to the survey of 10 million people conducted by researchers at Toronto’s Institute for Clinical
The study, conducted across Ontario in 2000, was used to demonstrate the pitfalls of jumping to conclusions when carrying out scientific research, said researcher Peter Austin.
"Replace astrological signs with another characteristic such as gender or age, and immediately your mind starts to form explanations for the observed associations," Austin said.
"We did this study to prove a larger point – the more we look for patterns, the more likely we are to find them, particularly when we don’t begin with a particular question."
Austin presented the results of his study at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in San Francisco.
To dispel the theory that there was a specific link between astrological signs and different conditions, Austin’s initial results were not reproduced when they were tested in a second
"Scientists take pains to make sure their clinical studies are conducted accurately but sometimes erroneous conclusions will be obtained solely due to chance," he said.
"Statistical chance means that five percent of the time, scientists will incorrectly conclude that an association exists, when in reality no such association exists in the population that the scientists are studying."