Health News Review
  • Jun 26 2014

    Readers react to mouse fitness study on NY Times “Well” blog – and I agree

    Earlier this week I praised one New York Times blog piece. But I have a quite different reaction to another I just read. The Times’ “Well” blog published a piece, “For Fitness, Push Yourself.“  It was about tips for you. The column fits in among other recent personal health postings on the blog on: heart [...]

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  • Jun 25 2014

    Which journalists reported an extra dimension on the 3-D mammography story?

    Faithful to the latest journal article, many news organizations dutifully reported what they were told by authors of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography.“  The list of stories that resorted to sensational language – breakthrough, game-changer, best way of detection, [...]

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  • Jun 23 2014

    A bionic pancreas! The true and Holy Grail! – BMJ blog sarcasm with a lesson

    I don’t think that Dr. Richard Lehman was addressing last week’s news coverage of the artificial pancreas when he wrote in his weekly journal review on a BMJ blog: A hush falls over the great cathedral as the evening light grows dim. As if from above, unearthly music fills the incense laden air. The kneeling [...]

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  • Jun 13 2014

    Robotic surgery news & marketing – misrepresentation of evidence

    “Under the glare of an operating theatre lamp….” Here it comes:  another drooling, fawning news story about robotic surgery – this time from The Guardian in the UK under the headline, “Newcastle hospital’s £2m robot transforms medical operations.” It was surprising to see how unquestioning the story was. The subheadline: “Dexterity of Da Vinci robot [...]

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  • Jun 12 2014

    “Cancer pill fights disease & gives lifelong protection” – for mice

    It took The Daily Telegraph of the UK nearly 200 words and 8 sentences to get around to explaining that the headline above pertained to a study conducted in mice. And when the story did get around to it, here’s how it was reported: “Although the study was conducted in mice, researchers are confident it [...]

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  • Jun 12 2014

    ABC radio Australia: What ails health reporting

    After appearing recently on the popular “On the Media” program on US National Public Radio, I’m flattered to appear on Australia’s ABC radio national program, “Media Report,” with veteran journalist Richard Aedy.  Smart host for another smart media analysis radio program.   You can listen to it here.             ————————- [...]

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  • Jun 11 2014

    BMJ news release on red meat & breast cancer may have misled reporters again

    I shuddered as soon as I read the BMJ news release headline, which read: “Estimated risk of breast cancer increases as red meat intake increases.“  I shuddered because I predicted to myself that many headlines, if not complete news stories, would report this as proof of cause and effect.  Or, at the very least, caveats [...]

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  • Jun 10 2014

    How predictive and productive is animal research?

    That’s a question BMJ editor in chief Fiona Godlee raises in a piece all health care and science journalists should ponder before penning their next rodent research story. And it should help news consumers put animated animal research claims into context as well. She discusses “the poor quality of the animal research on which much [...]

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  • Jun 10 2014

    Slow down on making claims for semen test for prostate cancer

    Recently, all sorts of sensational headlines popped up about: Semen test may improve prostate cancer detection Semen test for prostate cancer helps diagnose early warning signs Prostate cancer accurately identified with semen test Prostate cancer diagnosis may be more accurate with semen test Semen test is latest diagnostic prostate cancer tool and may be best [...]

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  • Jun 5 2014

    Words of caution about “simple tests could save lives and money” story

    A reader in California asked that we review and comment on a story by Healthline seen on Yahoo Health news: “Simple Tests for Heart Attack Risk Could Save Lives and Money.” Whenever you hear or see the phrase “simple tests,” you should head for the hills because there’s nothing simple or uncomplicated about most health [...]

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