Health News Review
  • Dec 21 2009

    Turning osteopenia into a disease

    NPR offers an in-depth look at the creation or re-definition of a disease and, as they call it, the “complicated biography of a medication” to treat it. Important story.

    2 Comments
  • Dec 19 2009

    NYT story examines criticism of cancer center ads

    Natasha Singer’s story looks at ads for cancer centers that tout high cure rates and low risk but no evidence to back that up. Testimonials rule the message. She writes: “In medical science, such anecdotal data would not be considered statistically valid. But ads for nonprofit medical centers are not held to scientific standards of [...]

    4 Comments
  • Dec 18 2009

    Reader questions balance, integrity of NJ web story on medical imaging cutbacks

    A news story – it’s not labeled as an editorial or as an advertisement – on a New Jersey news website bemoaned how “doctors will soon be forced to scale back or discontinue medical imaging services, due to the major reimbursement cuts recently released in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2010 Physician [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 17 2009

    Hospital chaplain-blogger criticizes CNN menopause disease-mongering

    Thank God for hospital chaplains – and special thanks for those who are also smart bloggers. See this chaplain’s blog (here and here) for how he evaluated a CNN/Health.com story, “Cholesterol jumps with menopause.” The story included this line: “A new study shows beyond a doubt that menopause, not the natural aging process, is responsible [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 17 2009

    CBS Early Show’s confusing breast screening info

    Someone suggested that we comment on a CBS segment from two weeks ago. We reviewed it and found it to be the most confusing jumbling of breast cancer screening information we’ve seen from a major news organization. The anchor began by saying, “Now it seems like we’re getting new recommendations every week and it’s confusing.” [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 16 2009

    Bioethicist worries about “crying wolf” over H1N1

    On MedPageToday.com, physician-bioethicist Jeffrey Hall Dobken suggests that “perhaps we can tone down the sky-is-falling just a bit” on H1N1. And he includes news coverage in his review of the “tension…reinforced by the endless health warnings.”

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  • Dec 16 2009

    The vocabulary of ghostwriting

    The Carlat Psychiatry Blog offers thoughts on who should be listed as an author of a medical journal article. And Dr. Daniel Carlat offers some recommendations on the practice: “–Journals should not publish articles that are clearly written in order to promote the funder’s product. Generally speaking, this would exclude any articles involving medical writing [...]

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  • Dec 15 2009

    The trifecta of TV health news stories: scanners, screening, reporter involvement

    TV loves screening stories. They love big scanners. And they love to have their reporters wear hospital gowns and get down and get scanned. The trifecta of TV health news stories. A few weeks ago, KOVR-TV in Sacramento reported on a local scanning center’s promotion of whole body CT scans “to catch disease before you [...]

    1 Comment
  • Dec 15 2009

    NYT column looks at women’s decisions about tamoxifen

    It’s noteworthy when news stories look closely at the decision-making approaches that patients employ. Case in point: a New York Times column on a study of 632 women whose five-year breast cancer risk projections might seem to make them leading candidates to take the drug tamoxifen. Excerpt: “Virtually every woman in the study said she [...]

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  • Dec 14 2009

    Questions about coronary artery calcium CT scans

    In an issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine that published several studies pointing out the risk of cancer associated with overuse of popular CT scans, there is also a strongly worded editorial about CT scan screening for coronary artery calcium – something some journalists seem to have fallen in love with. Dr. Patrick G. [...]

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