Health News Review
  • Feb 29 2012

    Sleeping pills may kill 1/2 million: another example of journalists confusing association and causation

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, MS, a member of our editorial team, and Director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences he holds a bachelors degree in pharmacy and a masters degree in therapeutics.  He has [...]

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  • Feb 28 2012

    Two noteworthy screening decision-making op-ed pieces on same day

    Don’t miss Gil Welch’s editorial in the New York Times, “If You Feel O.K., Maybe You Are O.K.” Excerpt: Screening the apparently healthy potentially saves a few lives (although the National Cancer Institute couldn’t find any evidence for this in its recent large studies of prostate and ovarian cancer screening). But it definitely drags many [...]

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  • Feb 27 2012

    Chicago Tribune examines spread of robotic surgery “despite inconclusive evidence”

    Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune published a noteworthy story, “Remote-control surgery grows, despite inconclusive evidence.“  Excerpts: Intuitive Surgical is a medical sensation, transforming surgery in some fields, especially gynecology and urology, in about a decade. More than 250,000 hysterectomies and prostate removal surgeries were done with the da Vinci last year, according to the [...]

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  • Feb 27 2012

    PCORI National Patient & Stakeholder Dialogue

    The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is holding a meeting in Washington today to get feedback on its draft National Priorities for Research and Initial Research Agenda (pdf file). Background on PCORI – if you’re not up on it – from their website: The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was created to conduct research to [...]

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  • Feb 24 2012

    Observational study miscommunication of the week: citrus & stroke

    A spin around the Web today will give you many stories about citrus fruits and women’s stroke risk. Citrus Fruits May Lower Women’s Stroke Risk – WebMD But in the body of the story there’s not a word about the limitations of such an observational study.  Only this quote: “Our study supports the conclusion that [...]

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  • Feb 23 2012

    Colon cancer screening news coverage all over the map & readers are probably lost

    A couple of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) don’t present as clearcut a picture of colon cancer screening evidence as some stories might suggest. One study pointed to benefits of colonoscopy screening.  Another described potential benefits of a form of blood stool testing called Fecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT). An editorial [...]

    5 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 22 2012

    Bioethics journal controversy reminds writers to be wary

    The following is a cross-post of a piece originally published on the Reporting on Health site by William Heisel, who is one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org. ———————————————————————————————————- Academic journals often have authoritative names: Cardiology, Neurology, Pediatrics. Not to be outdone by the bold founders of the origins-of-everything journal Cell, a group of academics [...]

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  • Feb 22 2012

    Questions about scare tactics in health advocacy/awareness campaigns

    Two smart bloggers I follow both wrote recently about scare tactics that bothered them in different ad campaigns. Marilyn Mann wrote, “Heart & Stroke Foundation ‘make death wait’ campaign: effective advocacy or unnecessary scare tactics?” She posted a TV ad, but also this print ad at left, and wrote: “…the print ad… has appeared in a [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 21 2012

    Heart healthy skepticism

    On the USA Today website, Liz Szabo interviews cardiology experts Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, authors of the new book,  Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need.  In the piece, Gillinov and Nissen say: We suggest avoiding these tests: •Heart calcium scans. These tests expose patients to [...]

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  • Feb 21 2012

    Breast Cancer & Social Media tweetchat

    I was pleased to be asked to be the guest on the #BCSM (Breast Cancer & Social Media) twitter chat last night (Monday, Feb. 20). This is a community that meets online every Monday night at 9 pm Eastern, 8 pm Central, 6 pm Pacific time. One of the hosts, and chat co-founders, Jody Schoger, [...]

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