Health News Review
  • Oct 25 2012

    Catching up on Embargo Watch & Retraction Watch gems

    On the Embargo Watch blog, Ivan Oransky keeps chipping away at the question of whose interests are served by embargoes. In “Break a JAMA embargo, get blacklisted.  Then what?” he writes: Adam Feuerstein and Patricia Anstett are part of an elite journalism club. They’ve both been blacklisted by the Journal of the American Medical Association [...]

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  • Oct 10 2012

    HealthDay publishes two examples of news-release-journalism in one day

    And it may happen on many other days as well – with them – or with others.  But these two got our goat. 1.  New MRI MIght Help Spot Heart Disease Early:  Study It’s entirely based on a news release from the journal Radiology.  There is no independent analysis of claims such as this: “The [...]

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  • Sep 24 2012

    More on publication bias and conflict of interest

    Recently, I wrote about an article published by PLoS One that pointed out the potential for flawed reporting on the results of published clinical trials. Now, Harold DeMonaco, one of our story reviewers and a frequent guest blogger on our site, writes about an article and accompanying editorial in the September 20 edition of the [...]

  • Sep 14 2012

    Publication bias – and “why most biomedical findings echoed by newspapers turn out to be false”

    A paper in the online journal PLoS One looked at news coverage of studies on ADHD and concluded: “Because newspapers preferentially echo initial ADHD findings appearing in prominent journals, they report on uncertain findings that are often refuted or attenuated by subsequent studies. If this media reporting bias generalizes to health sciences, it represents a [...]

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  • Jul 11 2012

    BMJ news release on alcohol & arthritis may have contributed to misleading coverage

    Around the globe today, there are misleading headlines about a study in the BMJ, “Long term alcohol intake and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women: a population based cohort study.” Alcohol cuts arthritis risk by half in women – Times of India Alcohol ‘lowers arthritis risk’ for women – The Independent Alcohol ‘lowers arthritis risk’ [...]

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  • Jul 5 2012

    Iain Chalmers on publication bias

    Iain Chalmers, British health-services researcher, and founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, recently wrote a column, “Publish or Perish.”  Excerpts: “…failure to publish research results is by far the most common and worrying form of scientific and ethical misconduct in health research – and it has had lethal consequences. Anecdotal evidence of publication bias has existed [...]

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  • Jun 28 2012

    Study looks at possible publication bias/conflict of interest in medical journals

    A study published in the BMJ analyzed “the extent to which funding and study design are associated with high reprint orders.”  The authors explain: Reprints of published articles are a potential valuable means of disseminating information. Many individuals and organisations may request reprints, including the authors of the articles themselves, other members of the scientific [...]

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  • Jun 22 2012

    Journal launches big series on “Big Food” and public health

    The journal PLoS Medicine has begun to publish a series of articles -  “a multidisciplinary approach to exploring the role in health of Big Food, which we define as the multinational food and beverage industry with huge and concentrated market power.”  Excerpt of an editors’ note: “The time is ripe for PLoS Medicine to shine [...]

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  • May 17 2012

    Ioannidis: “We need to move away from…big promises. Very little of what we do will be so lucky as to break new ground.”

    In the most recent issue of The NIH Record, which is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health, there’s an article about Dr. John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and someone whose work I’ve recommended to many audiences. Ioannidis recently spoke at a seminar sponsored by the NIH [...]

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  • Apr 13 2012

    Dueling viewpoints: Should a healthy middle-aged man with elevated cholesterol take a statin drug?

    The Journal of the American Medical Association debuted its “Dueling Viewpoints” feature with “the common clinical question of whether an otherwise healthy middle-aged man with an elevated cholesterol level should begin to take a statin” drug. Drs. Rita Redberg and Miitchell Katz, editor and deputy editor of the Archives of Internal Medicine, write that “Healthy [...]

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