Health News Review
  • Sep 26 2014

    Flawed news about skirt size-breast cancer observational study

    The paper in the journal BMJ Open was entitled, “Association of skirt size and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in older women.”  Association, not causation.  That, alone, should have been a clue to journalists. If they missed that, certainly they’d follow the news release from the journal, right? That news release got it right: “Going up [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 23 2014

    Proton beam: should a news organization “partner” with providers to promote in the face of intense debate?

    On the same day that the Mayo Clinic co-hosted a Twitter chat about “The Role of Proton Beam Therapy in Cancer Care”….. ……Kaiser Health News published a story, “Insurers Hesitant To Cover Many Proton Beam Therapy Treatments.” Included in that story was the news that: “some insurers and disease experts say that, until there’s better [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 23 2014

    L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco publishes nice plug for HealthNewsReview.org

    L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco – Italy’s national drug regulatory agency – published a profile of our work on their website.   The web article was entitled, “Come leggere criticamente le notizie sulla salute: l’esperienza di HealthNewsReview.org” – or – “How to critically read the news about health: the experience of HealthNewsReview.org.” The article is a [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 22 2014

    Pharmaceutical companies are like drug cartels – Gøtzsche on The Daily Show

    The Daily Show often captures health news topics with wit and humor – and with incisive insights. They did it again last week, with Michael Che’s piece, “The Pharmaceutical Drug Epidemic.” Great guest appearance by Danish researcher, Dr. Peter Gøtzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Center. (Note: Che is leaving the show after just 3 months. [...]

    5 Comments
  • Sep 22 2014

    Two headlines for same stem cell story: halting progress? Or patients dancing?

    Last week, I read with interest a New York Times piece headlined, “The Trials of Stem Cell Therapy,” with the subhead:  “Stem Cells: Plenty of Hope, but Halting Progress.”  I thought that was an appropriately cautious introduction to this issue, which has received so much hype. “Halting” is defined as: marked by a lack of [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 22 2014

    Duluth newspaper tackles commercial screening test questions

    John Lundy of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Wellness screening offers draw complaints.”  The story was apparently motivated by one Duluth resident’s complaint about a piece of direct mail she received from the LifeLine Screening company – the kind of mail many Americans get in the company’s carpet-bombing direct mail campaigns.  The story begins: “Sue [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 16 2014

    Evidence/balance lacking in Philly story on “Don’t Fear The Finger” campaign

    The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story, “Prostate cancer activists launch ‘the finger’ campaign to stem decline in testing.“  It begins: Kristine Warner wanted an eye-catching way to encourage men to talk to their doctors about the complicated, controversial subject of prostate cancer screening. Don’t Fear The Finger campaign was born. Go ahead and snicker. It [...]

    2 Comments
  • Sep 15 2014

    “Catastrophizing parlance” about diabetes

    Earlier today, I published a critique of a news story that was imbalanced in its reporting about pre-diabetes.  The story referred to a “national health crisis.” In his weekly BMJ blog reviewing journals, Dr. Richard Lehman addressed other hyperbolic language used to describe Type 2 diabetes.  He wrote:  In the catastrophizing parlance of the Lancet, [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 15 2014

    USA Today story shows lack of awareness of debate over pre-diabetes classification

    USA Today published a story, “Pre-diabetes, diabetes rates fuel national health crisis.” But the story fails to note one word of caution or skepticism about the definition of pre-diabetes.  Just two months ago, Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic and John Yudkin of University College London wrote in The BMJ, “The epidemic of pre-diabetes:  the [...]

    4 Comments
  • Sep 8 2014

    Competition between “cure” and “breakthrough” on MS story — in mice

    A paper in the journal Nature Communications reported on a mouse study of a condition similar to multiple sclerosis. Mice.  And mice only. But look at how it was reported.  There was competition betweenhow many stories would claim “breakthrough” versus how many would claim “cure.” The Daily Express in the UK:  “Could a cure for [...]

    1 Comment