Health News Review
  • Mar 11 2013

    PREVAIL trial’s tangled mess of news release, broken embargo, confusion over heart device data

    This is an updated version (on March 17) of the post that first appeared on March 11 – with new information. While the big American College of Cardiology conference was going on more than a week ago, you may have missed how a tangled mess in the way health care news is disseminated was on [...]

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  • Mar 7 2013

    American College of Cardiology news release plugs, expresses “serious concerns” about study to be discussed at upcoming meeting

    The American College of Cardiology holds its annual scientific sessions in San Francisco from March 9 – 13 this year.  It is quite common for organizations like the ACC to send out news releases in advance of a meeting about papers that will be presented at the meeting. But it is uncommon for an organization [...]

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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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  • Dec 26 2012

    3rd annual year-ender on health care PR crap we receive

    I’ve been too nice the past two years, calling my year-enders “PR puffery” or “PR stuff.” The stuff I’m writing about here is pure crap.  So we’re calling it that. This annual series is about the bombardment of news releases sent to journalists who are trying to decide what is vital information for readers, viewers [...]

  • Dec 12 2012

    Grateful for American College of Sports Medicine’s continued support

    As the latest manifestation of the ACSM’s support for what we do, see one of their recent news releases which includes at the end this tag: The American College of Sports Medicine supports the 10 Criteria for Responsible Health Reporting as articulated by Health News Review. Beggars can’t be choosers, my Dad always reminded me.  [...]

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  • Nov 5 2012

    Proton Beam Therapy: evaluating claims in ASTRO papers of “excellent” quality of life data

    Last week, the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s annual conference was held in Boston, and several papers were presented on proton beam therapy, and several medical centers sent out news releases about their involvement in the work.  MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston  and Loma Linda University Medical Center in California were two that we [...]

  • 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 12 2012

    Spinning trial results in news releases and subsequent news coverage

    A paper by a French team in PLoS Medicine, “Misrepresentation of Randomized Controlled Trials in Press Releases and News Coverage: A Cohort Study,” shows once again “the tendency for press releases and the associated media coverage of randomized clinical trials to place emphasis on the beneficial effects of experimental treatments.”  More from the paper: “This [...]

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  • Jul 17 2012

    Cocoa as Sunscreen? PR Firm Shamelessly Hypes Tiny Study

    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. ———————————————– With the summer [...]

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  • Mar 27 2012

    Weighty Matters blogger dismantles chocolate news release & study

    Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, self-described as founder of “a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre,” is also an active blogger. (An editor of the BMJ reacted on my blog to Freedhoff’s piece from last week about a white rice & diabetes study.  See the exchange of comments at the end of the piece.) His [...]

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