Health News Review
  • Nov 22 2013

    Nuts and death – journal animated video explanation

    You probably saw, read, or heard about news of an observational study in the New England Journal of Medicine pointing to a statistical association between nut consumption and lower death rate.  Larry Husten did a good job explaining the study on Forbes.com. The NEJM itself posted a YouTube video that had journal editor Jeffrey Drazen’s [...]

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  • Oct 4 2013

    More evidence that being published in a journal sometimes doesn’t mean much

    On this site, we constantly admonish against treating journal articles as if they are the stone tablets brought down from Mount Horeb. And now science journalist John Bohannon drives that point home with an elaborate spoof. He sent out a research paper he dreamed up and got at least 157 journals to accept it. It’s [...]

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  • Sep 9 2013

    Peer review helps slow down spin on how studies are reported

    In his new home at MedPage Today, Ivan Oransky writes, “Peer Review Cuts Down Clinical Trial Spin.” Excerpts: “Peer review, while hardly perfect, does improve the reporting of randomized trials, according to a preliminary study presented … at the Peer Review Congress. Authors of about a third of the analyzed reports changed their conclusions in [...]

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  • Jul 17 2013

    British journal blogs fire cross-Atlantic salvoes at JAMA, NEJM

    Two weeks ago, former BMJ editor Richard Smith blogged, “Is the New England Journal of Medicine anti-science?” Excerpts: “I don’t know why the New England Journal of Medicine doesn’t publish electronically all the letters it receives, but I can hypothesise. The Bostonian paragon is unashamedly elitist and committed to excellence and virtue, just like their [...]

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  • Jul 17 2013

    Of mice and men: problems with animal studies highlighted in a new light

    John Ioannidis of Stanford and colleagues published an important paper in PLoS Biology, “Evaluation of Excess Significance Bias in Animal Studies of Neurological Diseases.” Summary: “Studies have shown that the results of animal biomedical experiments fail to translate into human clinical trials; this could be attributed either to real differences in the underlying biology between [...]

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  • Mar 7 2013

    A journal editor calls for quarantine of “groundbreaking studies about new treatments”

    Dr. Elizabeth Loder, who is a US research editor for the BMJ, blogged “How medical journals can help stop disease-mongering.” in the blog, Loder reflected on her recent participation on a panel I moderated at the Selling Sickness conference in Washington, DC.  Joining Loder on the panel were Jocalyn Clark, PhD, of PLoS Medicine, and [...]

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  • Feb 12 2013

    Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time observational studies are miscommunicated. It just seems that way.

    Health news this week is dripping with warm, gushing claims about the health benefits of chocolate – just in time for Valentine’s Day. Headlines such as: Chocolate – the love drug. Dark Chocolate & Red Wine – The food of love and health Chocolate is good for health and relationships. But one blogger wrote, “I [...]

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  • Feb 7 2013

    How the same “independent” sources pop up in competing stories – or, is this the scientific embargo version of insider trading?

    Just a few weeks ago, HealthNewsReview.org analyzed several stories on a study of berries and women’s heart health. In our review of a HealthDay story, we noted: The story quotes two independent experts, preventive cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum and nutritionist Dana Greene. We wish that the experts were quoted on a more analytical view of [...]

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  • Feb 5 2013

    Should We Trust the NEJM Obesity Mythbusters?

    The following is a guest post by Kevin Lomangino, one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org. He is an independent medical journalist and editor who is currently Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Nutrition Insight, a monthly evidence-based newsletter which reviews the scientific literature on nutrition for physicians and dietitians. He tweets as @Klomangino. —————————————————- Last week, the [...]

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  • Feb 4 2013

    Sound Medicine radio program profiles work of HealthNewsReview.org

    This public radio program in Indiana interviewed me in response to the paper by John Ioannidis and colleagues in JAMA, “Empirical Evaluation of Very Large Treatment Effects of Medical Interventions.” You can listen to the 12-minute segment online. A few of the points I tried to make: Oftentimes, if it sounds too good to be [...]

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