Health News Review
  • 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, 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 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 [...]

  • Feb 4 2013

    Sound Medicine radio program profiles work of

    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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  • Jan 25 2013

    Ghostwriting part 3: psych drug Paxil – and conclusion

    The GlaxoSmithKline psychiatric drug Paxil is the topic of the third and final part of a series of unsolicited guest blog submissions by Jonathan Leo, PhD, and Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD. ——————————— Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, and the University of Pennsylvania In June of 2012 charges of ghostwriting were made by a University of Pennsylvania Professor over a [...]

  • Jan 25 2013

    Week-ending roundup of health care news gems you may have missed

    Flu Follies:  CNN’s Piers Morgan Falls Ill Days After Getting Flu Shot On The Air From Dr. Oz. Should Journalists Cite Material from Predatory Journals? – Scholarly Open Access blog. Eve Harris, who recently took a fulltime job as a patient navigator at UCSF,  published her “coming out” piece, as she calls it -  “Skin [...]

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  • Jan 24 2013

    Ghostwriting series part 2: Medtronic’s InFuse spinal fusion surgery product

    In the second part of their 3-part guest blog series on ghostwriting of medical papers, researchers Jonathan Leo, PhD, and Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD address “Medtronics, InFuse and the University of Wisconsin.” —————————————– InFuse, manufactured by Medtronic and approved by the FDA in 2002, is used for promoting the growth of bone graft material during surgery.  [...]

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  • Jan 24 2013

    “The risk that press reports would fall into the trap of reporting this study as definitive”

    A paper in JAMA Internal Medicine this week, “The Association of Aspirin Use With Age-Related Macular Degeneration,” concluded: “..from this prospective population-based cohort that regular aspirin use is associated with a 2-fold increase in risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) during a 15-year period. These findings appear to be independent of cardiovascular disease, smoking, and [...]

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