Health News Review
  • Dec 16 2014

    As the worm turns – from scientific paper to news release to bad news coverage

    A journalist-friend asked me to comment on this.   The story, in the Daily Express of the UK, finally got around to explaining that the breathless claims made in the headline and subheadline were based on research in laboratory worms. Microscopic worms. The story states: “Although (the worm in question) is a long way from [...]

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  • Dec 9 2014

    Exaggeration in health science news releases – and what we’re going to do about it

    It’s difficult to imagine a journal article and an editorial that could set the stage for what we intend to do on this site in 2015 better than this paper and this editorial in The BMJ this week – about problems with health related science news releases. (Addendum almost 2 hours after embargo broke:  BMJ-provided [...]

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  • Dec 8 2014

    At last: new life, new funding, new initiatives, new people for HealthNewsReview.org

    I am very pleased to announce that this project has received a two-year, $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. I had hinted at this good news with some of you in recent weeks, but was not able to share details until the grant paperwork was signed. The LJAF, on its website, [...]

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  • Nov 24 2014

    A look at robotic surgery proliferation in Denmark

    Frederik Joelving, who once did outstanding work for ReutersHealth in the U.S., recently published a piece on robotic surgery in Politiken, a major newspaper in Denmark. A rough translation of the way the article concluded: “It may be difficult to reverse (the proliferation trend) if the large randomized trials that other countries are doing should [...]

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  • Nov 24 2014

    “Health care consumers in the dark” – no kidding

    That headline appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune print edition yesterday. The focus of the article was how difficult it is to obtain medical cost data despite a state law and other efforts to increase transparency. The same newspaper had a brief column the previous day about open enrollment season for workplace medical benefits, but [...]

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  • Nov 21 2014

    More NBC TODAY Show men have more body parts probed during TV sweeps month

    Last November, it was Matt Lauer and Al Roker having their prostates probed on live TV via digital rectal exam. This November TV sweeps period – today to be precise – Willie Geist and Carson Daly had their testicles probed live on the air. The common denominator:  the prober was telegenic, media magnet Dr. David [...]

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  • Nov 20 2014

    Hockey fans treated to more than slap shot; how about prostate exam?

    Milwaukee media loved this Movember promotion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: Milwaukee Admirals vice president of sales and marketing Mike Wojciechowski will undergo a prostate examination at Saturday night’s match against the Rockford Ice Hogs to raise awareness of men’s health issues…. The team is holding promotions during November to help raise money for the [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Inadvertent disease-mongering of diabetes puts media innumeracy on display

    In another of the occasional Hypewatch features on MedPage Today, Kristina Fiore writes, “Hypewatch: 100 Million Diabetic Americans in the Dark?” A third of Americans have diabetes but don’t know it? That’s almost as hard to believe as the IOM’s conclusion that a third of Americans live with severe chronic pain. The diabetes figure is [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Evaluating evidence in media messages about breast cancer

    The National Breast Cancer Coalition asked me to deliver a presentation at its Project LEAD® workshop in Washington, DC, on November 16. Project LEAD® is designed for NBCC members who want “an introductory education in the science of breast cancer, research design, advocacy and understanding medical news in the media.” My slides appear below.   [...]

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  • Nov 18 2014

    IMPROVE-IT heart drug trial news: Game-changer? Or balderdash?

    Lub-dub…lub-dub…. The drumbeat of heart news coming out of the American Heart Association is loud and clear.  But some who read and listen closely are seeing and hearing arrhythmias – disturbances in the signal. The New York Times reported: For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that [...]

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