Health News Review
  • Feb 24 2014

    Bohemian Polypharmacy – latest in clever YouTube video series

    I don’t know how James McCormack, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, finds time to produce these videos, but I’m a big fan.  His latest is “Bohemian Polypharmacy” – a parody of Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated. [...]

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  • Feb 22 2014

    Nonivasive heart imaging tests lead to invasive tests but not to better outcomes

    I found a Medscape story about the following.  Nothing else.  Granted, I can’t see/find everything, so I may have missed some reporting on this.  But nothing jumped out at me in a web search.  Why not? A paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Hospital Variation in the Use of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging and Its Association With [...]

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  • Dec 13 2013

    First the hype, now the science – platelet-rich plasma therapy in orthopedics

    A paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons on platelet-rich plasma in orthopedic uses raises questions about the proliferation of that approach:  “for many conditions, there is limited reliable clinical evidence to guide the use of PRP. Furthermore, classification systems and identification of differences among products are needed to understand the [...]

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  • Dec 12 2013

    The unvarying story of health care variations – Dartmouth Atlas on children’s care

    Jack Wennberg made his mark by documenting health care variations in the way certain services were utilized – even in adjacent communities in New England. One of the early signs that caught his attention was when his own kids were of the tonsillectomy age. He found, as Reuters recalls, “that rates of tonsillectomy are 60 [...]

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  • Dec 2 2013

    Coumadin, Clinton, and corporate conspired conformity: The case for decentralizing medical practice guidelines

    The following is a guest post submitted by David K. Cundiff, MD, who recently submitted a post that drew a great deal of interest on the site. ———————— Stroke, an American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) journal, recently published my systematic review of Anticoagulants for Cerebral Venous Thrombosis (CVT). However, the journal editor rightly classified [...]

    3 Comments
  • Nov 24 2013

    Statins and cardiovascular conflicts of interest

    I’d like to see a public survey of comprehension of the recent splash of news about new guidelines for heart disease prevention and statin drug use.  Heads must be spinning. Here are some of the pieces that I found noteworthy: In the BMJ, Jeanne Lenzer writes, “Majority of panelists on controversial new cholesterol guidelines have [...]

    16 Comments
  • Nov 4 2013

    The Economics & Politics of Drugs for Mild Hypertension

    Dr. David Cundiff was co-author of the Cochrane systematic review, “Pharmacotherapy for Mild Hypertension.”  The following is an unsolicited guest blog post by Dr. Cundiff. —————————- The Cochrane Collaboration’s Hypertension Group published a systematic review of drug treatment for mild hypertension in August 2012 showing no evidence that drugs benefit patients while about 11% have [...]

    9 Comments
  • Oct 15 2013

    Reflecting on one little paper in Science 40 years ago – Jack Wennberg’s legacy

    This week, Dartmouth celebrated the publication of a paper 40 years ago that it seemed no one wanted to publish. It was Jack Wennberg’s Science magazine paper, “Small Area Variations in Health Care Delivery.” In the Los Angeles Times today, Dartmouth’s Gil Welch writes: “Similar populations living in different regions of the United States get [...]

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  • Oct 4 2013

    Imbalance in reporting on Alzheimer’s PET scan research

    Just two weeks ago, CBS reported on PET scans for Alzheimer’s disease, “New scan may diagnose Alzheimer’s as brain changes occur,” based on a study in the journal Neuron.  (Do they scour this journal all the time?) Just four days ago, the Washington Post reported on “good news on Alzheimer’s: Better ways to diagnose it.“  [...]

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  • Sep 19 2013

    “Not-so-fine line between empowerment and fear, between awareness and exploitation” on testicular cancer campaigns

    Veteran public health reporter André Picard of The Globe and Mail writes, “Sack the hysteria: Men’s shorts aren’t filled with cancer time bombs.“  He also posts this image from one campaign. Story excerpt: “Not only are the big organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society starting to take interest in men’s gonads, a bunch of [...]

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