Health News Review
  • Nov 21 2012

    General health checkups find lots of new problems but don’t cut morbidity/mortality

    That’s the conclusion of a paper published in the BMJ, “General health checks in adults for reducing morbidity and mortality from disease: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis.” The authors reported: We identified 16 trials, 14 of which had available outcome data (182 880 participants). Nine trials provided data on total mortality (11 940 deaths), and they gave [...]

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  • Oct 25 2012

    Two more “more is not always better” reminders

    I know I’m late on both of these, as both were published a week ago. Late or not, I like to catch up so that I can archive good stuff on my site. An analysis by the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen led to this conclusion: “General health checks did not reduce morbidity or mortality, [...]

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  • Oct 25 2012

    ABC corrects earlier story about Bill Weir’s “lifesaving” CT scan

    Call it a retraction.  Call it a correction.  Call it important to correct the record. Back in January, I led the charge in criticizing ABC’s Bill Weir for his report on Dr. David Agus’ book, “The End of Illness,” and Weir’s claim that a CT scan Agus recommended may have saved Weir’s life.  You can [...]

  • Oct 24 2012

    Best health care in the world? Certainly the costliest.

    The PBS NewsHour reports on the most recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on global health care spending. Snapshots: NewsHour: The U.S. system is known for over-testing and over-treating, everything from CT scans and MRIs, knee replacements to coronary bypasses. How severe is the over-testing and why is it occurring? [...]

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  • Oct 3 2012

    9-part series on over-diagnosis

    Ray Moynihan, a terrific health care journalist who is now pursuing his PhD on overdiagnosis and working as a Senior Research Fellow at Bond University in Australia, kicks off the first of a nine-part series, “Over-diagnosis Epidemic” on website. The first part is an introduction, “Preventing over-diagnosis:  how to stop harming the healthy.” Other [...]

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  • Jun 1 2012

    BMJ feature – Preventing Overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy

    “Preventing overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy,” is a feature in this week’s BMJ by Ray Moynihan, Jenny Doust and David Henry. I won’t try to recapture the entire piece in this blog because you should read it yourself. But here are section headings: Screening detected overdiagnosis Increasingly sensitive tests Incidentalomas Excessively widened definitions [...]

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  • Apr 10 2012

    Overview wraps on overtesting, overtreatment, and undercooked nutrition news

    The Naked Doctor, aka Justin Coleman, has a mega-wrap of recent news on excessive testing and treatment on the Croakey blog.   And on the Columbia Journalism Review blog, “The Observatory,” Curtis Brainard offers a wrap view of “Nutrition Coverage Under Fire: From red meat to white rice, not enough skepticism of observational studies.“  His [...]

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  • Feb 21 2012

    Heart healthy skepticism

    On the USA Today website, Liz Szabo interviews cardiology experts Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, authors of the new book,  Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need.  In the piece, Gillinov and Nissen say: We suggest avoiding these tests: •Heart calcium scans. These tests expose patients to [...]

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  • Jan 19 2012

    The Naked Doctor: profiling overdiagnosis and overtreatment

    We’ve long been admirers of the Croakey blog, run by Melissa Sweet in Australia. Now Croakey has a new project called The Naked Doctor. The site says: Naked Doctor aims to encourage discussion and awareness of the opportunities to do more for health by doing less. It is a compilation of articles, books and other [...]

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