Health News Review
  • Sep 3 2014

    After Barcelona buzz wears off, questions remain about new heart drugs

    From the big European Society of Cardiology annual meeting in Barcelona come these headlines: Cholesterol Drug Halves Heart Attack and Stroke in Early Test Magic Cholesterol Pill Halves Heart Attack Risk The first was from the New York Times, picking up a Reuters story. Seeing that, Yale’s Dr. Harlan Krumholz tweeted: “This @nytimes headline sends [...]

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  • Aug 24 2014

    Questions about the ice bucket challenge

    A story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Ice bucket challenge? Here’s where  your money goes,” is worth a look. It doesn’t make any statement about what’s right or wrong or good or bad about the campaign.  It simply states facts, based on what the reporter found on Guidestar.org.  Excerpts: “The (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS) association [...]

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  • Aug 23 2014

    Robotic surgery company objects to tough journalism; objections & responses posted

    Men’s Health magazine deserves credit not only for its tough story, “What’s Wrong with Robotic Surgery?” by an excellent journalist, Laura Beil, earlier this year.  But when Intuitive Surgical, manufacturer of the DaVinci robotic surgical system, objected to the piece, Men’s Health posted a point-by-point response to the objections. A double dose of good journalism, [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Dr. Peter Bach on “Avoiding the Breast Cancer ‘Warrior’ Trap”

    I clearly remember struggling with if/what I should write about Amy Robach of ABC News and her on-air and online statements about her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment – and what it might mean for other women. I finally decided, and published “There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story,” becoming one [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Predatory journal: “good way to make an income & defraud scientific community”

    Applause for Tom Spears of The Ottawa Citizen for his piece, “Respected medical journal turns to dark side.” He begins: “A respected Canadian medical journal that was sold to offshore owners last year is now printing scientific junk for hire, but still trading on its original good name. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology was published in Oakville, Ont., [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Here’s how the new FDA-approved colon cancer test could have been covered

    Los Angeles Times business/consumer columnist David Lazarus writes, “A good alternative to having a colonoscopy?  Maybe not.” Excerpt: A Wisconsin company called Exact Sciences has launched a marketing campaign for its new product, Cologuard, which it hails as “the breakthrough test for colon cancer screening that’s as easy as going to the bathroom.” Although stool [...]

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  • Aug 21 2014

    Misleading PBS story: Study shows prostate cancer risk rises in male cyclists over 50

    One of our readers tipped me off to the flaws in this recent story posted by PBS Newshour. And if you read the reader comments left online in response to the story, you’ll see that she wasn’t the only one who was troubled.   For such a short story, there’s a lot wrong here. The [...]

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  • Aug 20 2014

    Smart journalism scrutinizes cancer screening issues

    Julia Belluz, on Vox.com, wrote, “Older patients are getting screened way too often for cancer.“  She reported on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded: “A substantial proportion of the US population with limited life expectancy received prostate, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening that is unlikely to provide [...]

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  • Aug 19 2014

    Hair loss treatment data in 3 people gets widespread (and often weak) news coverage

    Published results in just 3 people drew widespread international news attention. NBC News, which has a history of baldness treatment hype, did it again, putting a graphic behind anchor Brian Williams that played question mark journalism, asking, “Cure for Baldness?”  Short answer:  No.  Not yet.  Not after good results in 3 people.  But NBC had [...]

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  • Aug 19 2014

    Yay for a BMJ journal news release for including caveats about an observational study!

    I’ve criticized them many times, so now it’s time to salute them. And let’s hope the news release writers for BMJ journals continue this practice. This week, in a news release about a paper in one of the journals published by the BMJ, the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, was this caveat: “This is [...]

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