Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

  • 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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  • Jun 4 2014

    ABC Nightline’s simplistic, book-promoting approach to saturated fat

    Anchorman Dan Harris reads his lines: Is it possible that everything we have long held as dietary gospel is backwards? Tonight you will meet a mom/investigative reporter who says all of those high-fat foods we have been told to avoid are actually good for us. Not only that, she says if you eat things like [...]

  • May 27 2014

    “On the Media” profiles once again

    My recent JAMA Internal Medicine article caught the eye of the On the Media team at WNYC radio, and they profiled our work once again last weekend in a segment they entitled, “The Worried Well Whipped Into A Frenzy,” based on one of my recurring themes.   —————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter: [...]

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  • May 5 2014

    My “Guide to Reading Health Care News” in JAMA Internal Medicine

    Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall.  Odd choice by the journal, given the subject. UPDATE on May 9:  JAMA Internal Medicine has decided to move the article in front of the paywall, offering it free online to readers for 6 months.  This is apparently in response to reader comments about the previous restriction.  You can access [...]

  • Apr 27 2014

    Off to Australia

    I’m off to Australia for a series of talks related to the National Medicines Symposium in Brisbane. As a result, I won’t be publishing during the month of May. I’ll speak at a media breakfast in Sydney hosted by NPS MedicineWise and the Australasian Medical Writers Association, then give two talks at the National Medicines [...]

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  • Apr 3 2014

    Nuanced balance is not easily communicated on latest mammography study

    “A Systematic Assessment of Benefits and Risks to Guide Breast Cancer Screening Decisions” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week. It reached a conclusion that you might think few could disagree with – although on this topic one should never underestimate the potential for disagreement.  The authors wrote: “Mammography screening [...]

  • Mar 25 2014

    8th straight – and maybe the last – Association of Health Care Journalists talk about

    This week, for the 8th straight year,  I’ll speak about the work of at an annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists – this one in Denver.  For this one – as I’ve done in the last couple of such workshops – I’ll tag team with Ivan Oransky, MD, vice president and [...]

  • Mar 25 2014

    Honored with one of American Medical Writers Assn. highest awards

    Thanks to the American Medical Writers Association for announcing that I will receive one of the organization’s highest awards at its annual conference in Memphis in October. Details on the AMWA website. It is humbling to learn that past recipients include George Lundberg, John K. Iglehart, Anthony Fauci, Art Caplan, Sherwin Nuland, Jerome Groopman and [...]

  • Mar 11 2014

    “Simple” blood test to predict if you’ll be alive in 5 years? Please….

    The obsession that some in journalism have with “simple” blood tests – the unquestioning “test for everything” mentality that shines through in so many stories – is, itself, bloodcurdling. Yesterday we wrote about how CNN stated that an Alzheimer’s test had “astonishing accuracy” – when another solid news story reported that “the accuracy fell short [...]

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