Health News Review
  • Mar 5 2013

    Two new books by physicians to put on your reading list

    “Between the Lines:  Finding the Truth in Medical Literature,” by Marya Zilberberg, MD, MPH….and “The Patient Paradox: Why sexed-up medicine is bad for your health,” by Margaret McCartney, MD, are two books to add your reading list. I’ve written several times about smart blog posts by Zilberberg, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at U-Mass Amherst.  In her book, she urges: “We need to acknowledge the …

  • May 22 2013

    Doc complains, gets “misleading” bus ads promoting screening banned

    On a BMJ blog, Dr. Margaret McCartney writes about her irritation after seeing ads on the side of buses in Glasgow (where she lives) promoting screening tests but not divulging that this was to recruit people into clinical trials.  She and her daughter took photos of the ads, and she shared those with me:                 She complained to the UK agency that regulates advertising across all media.  And th…

  • Jan 8 2014

    “Our screening sacred cows”

    On The Guardian’s website in the UK, Dr. Margaret McCartney makes a clear, compelling case for balance in public information about screening in a piece entitled, “Patients deserve the truth: health screening can do more harm than good.” And she charges that the British National Health Service “fails to inform patients that health screening often leads to unnecessary and risky treatments.” “It is this failure …

  • Apr 4 2014

    “Check ‘em Tuesday” and CoppaFeel campaign strong on promotion, weak on evidence

    … Sun goes on to urge women to: “Check ‘em and share pics.” ONCE you’ve checked ’em, post ’em. Put your snaps on Facebook or on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #checkemtuesday In the BMJ, Dr. Margaret McCartney wrote: “Why the Sun’s breast check campaign may actually harm women.” Excerpt: Teaching women to examine their breasts regularly has been shown not to reduce deaths from breast cancer and actually incre…

  • Oct 12 2012

    “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” magazine – reviewed in BMJ and Quackometer

    Dr. Margaret McCartney, who helped launch the site we wrote about yesterday, has a piece in the BMJ this week, “What a new consumer health magazine doesn’t tell you.”  (Subscription required for full access.) Excerpts: “It looks just like any other magazine on the shelves of the newsagent aimed at middle aged women: glossy, 100 pages, with a smiling, confident looking woman on the cover. What Doctors …

  • Aug 6 2014

    Aspirin and cancer story more complicated than many are reporting

    …8217;re concerned that routine use of aspirin might cause gastrointestinal problems, including GI bleeding and maybe even intracranial bleeding.” Here’s the study, published in the Annals of Oncology. Dr. Margaret McCartney of the UK tweeted this graphic to explain the number needed to treat/number needed to harm for aspirin.   The Cancer Research UK organization wrote: Pros: Around 17 fewer deaths, including: 16 fewer deaths …

  • Mar 21 2012

    Aspirin & cancer story: what’s right dose of caveats?

    …217;t that, after all, what makes science exciting?” I encourage you to read her analysis. Addendum on March 22:  Another noteworthy post – “The Lancet and aspirin and all cause mortality,” by Margaret McCartney. …

  • Oct 11 2012

    PrivateHealthScreening: What to Think About When You’re Thinking About Screening Tests

    In the Guardian newspaper, UK physician and writer Margaret McCartney wrote, “Private health screening tests are oversold and under-explained: Health screening can cause more harm than it prevents, so companies have a duty to provide full information to customers.” In the article, she introduced a new website called  She writes that: “…out of frustration and anger, myself and a few colleagues —…

  • Nov 13 2012

    Move over Movember – problems with the global campaign

    … foundation spends the money it raises? These are just a few of the issues on the slippery slope of journalist endorsement of causes. Not everyone sees this is an innocuous, harmless, helpful campaign. UK physician Margaret McCartney blogged, “The problems with Movember.”  She questions some of the evidence behind some of the screening and checkup information/advice promoted by the Movember campaign. Excerpt: “I urge Movember …

  • Mar 29 2012

    In the BMJ: “What companies don’t tell you about screening” and “Routine testicular self examination: it’s time to stop”

    Dr. Margaret McCartney writes in the BMJ with a UK physician’s perspective on “What companies don’t tell you about screening,” questioning whether customers of private screening companies are given information to really understand what they are undertaking. Excerpts: The full page advertisements in the weekend press are hard to ignore. “Your quick and easy way to help prevent a stroke,” goes the headline, with “Did you know th…

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