Health News Review
  • May 4 2011

    Poll shows many women in their 40s unaware of revised mammography recommendations

    A new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll shows – according to a HealthDay story: • 66 percent of women in their 40s hadn’t even heard about the US Preventive Services Task Force’s revised recommendations from November 2009 raising questions about the tradeoffs involved in mammography for women in their 40s. • About 11 percent of women said [...]

    1 Comment
  • Apr 22 2011

    7 health news web gems to wrap up the week

    On Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat Blog, see Naomi Freundlich’s piece, “New Health Indicators Site is a ‘Treasure Trove’ of Valuable Data.” On the Dose of Digital blog, see Jonathan Richman’s excellent analysis, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Pharma Social Media Statistics.” The FDA has announced a webinar for next Thursday (April 28) on its “Bad Ads [...]

    No Comments
  • Apr 4 2011

    WBUR’s CommonHealth blog profiles savvy health care industry worker infuriated about consumer cost info

    Rachel Zimmerman tells a story that many people must be able to relate with – “Medical Sticker Shock: An Infuriating Encounter With A Cost Calculator.” The guy delivers the nut graf: “Here I was trying to do the right thing by figuring out the cost. But clearly, the system isn’t ready for prime time when [...]

    1 Comment
  • Mar 1 2011

    “Health literacy needed to make health reform a reality”

    That’s what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a Kaiser Health News – Washington Post collaboration entitled, “Helping Patients Understand Their Medical Treatment.” The scene-setting lede: “An elderly woman sent home from the hospital develops a life-threatening infection because she doesn’t understand the warning signs listed in the discharge instructions. A man flummoxed by an [...]

    No Comments
  • Dec 28 2010

    A leading health policy issue for 2010-11: communicating tradeoffs in screening test decisions

    One trend that stands out from 2010 is what I call screening madness. I’m referring specifically and solely to the promotion of screening tests outside the boundaries of evidence and to the emphasis only on the benefits of screening tests with concomitant downplaying or complete disregard for the harms of screening. Why is this a [...]

  • Dec 27 2010

    Kent Bottles: The Difficult Science Behind Becoming a Savvy Healthcare Consumer

    Dr. Kent Bottles is in the midst of a very thoughtful multi-part blog post under the heading, “The Difficult Science Behind Becoming a Savvy Healthcare Consumer.” Part I examined “the limitations of science in helping us make wise choices and decisions about our health.” Part II explores “how we all have to change if we [...]

    No Comments
  • Oct 14 2010

    All screening tests cause harm – but we tend to ignore that

    American Cancer Society chief medical officer Dr. Otis Brawley has gone on the web with two recent videos on screening issues. His latest is on the continuing discussion about mammography recommendations for women in their 40s. The video appears on the CNN website. Dr. Brawley is an effective communicator. His mammography message in this clip [...]

  • Aug 20 2010

    TMI on health for young women? Or too much of wrong kind?

    Interesting piece by Elizabeth Cooney in the Boston Globe, “TMI! – Too much information? Chat rooms, infomercials, tweeting: Young women face new challenges in search for solid answers about their health.” Interesting sidebar: Top 10 questions from young women Dr. Hope Ricciotti, gynecologist-obstetrician, says these are among the most frequent queries she gets from her [...]

    No Comments
  • Aug 18 2010

    Hope vs. false hope/harm in news stories about Alzheimer’s & ALS

    All you have to do is use our search engine on to search for “Alzheimer’s” and you’ll get countless returns of stories and claims such as: • Spinal-Fluid Test Is Found to Predict Alzheimer’s • Drug for Immune Disorders Helps Alzheimer’s • Miracle drug for Alzheimer’s patients • A cocktail to remember? Nutrient elixir [...]

  • Aug 11 2010

    Cancer society’s heart in right place with latest ad campaign, but their heads (and copywriters) must do better job

    A well-intentioned ad campaign run by the American Cancer Society is too vague, and, therefore, may leave impressions that are imbalanced, incomplete and unsubstantiated – the kind of common tactic seen in many drug company ads. That’s my opinion based on my analysis of the ad and based on my reading of the text. A [...]