Health News Review
  • Mar 17 2015

    The headline I wish I’d seen about the new PCSK9 cholesterol drugs

    The following is a guest post by Kevin Lomangino, managing editor of He tweets as @Klomangino.    “New Drugs Cut Heart Risks by One Percentage Point: Study” That’s the headline I didn’t see from any stories yesterday about two new cholesterol drug studies presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting. While it might sound like something [...]

  • Feb 8 2015

    Comedians, entertainers tackle anti-vaccine movement, media measles messages

    MedPage Today called it the Tweet of the Week when Ottawa physician Sunny Chan (@DrWaiSun)  “shared this blunt video created by Penn and Teller that ‘destroys the anti-vaccine movement tin 90 seconds.’ ” Comedians Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Seth Meyers, Conan O’Brien, and Jimmy Fallon addressed measles-in-the-media issues. ————— Tweet Follow us on Twitter: [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 15 2014

    “Catastrophizing parlance” about diabetes

    Earlier today, I published a critique of a news story that was imbalanced in its reporting about pre-diabetes.  The story referred to a “national health crisis.” In his weekly BMJ blog reviewing journals, Dr. Richard Lehman addressed other hyperbolic language used to describe Type 2 diabetes.  He wrote:  In the catastrophizing parlance of the Lancet, [...]

    No Comments
  • Jul 10 2014

    The BBC interviews two of my favorites on risk literacy & shared decision making

    Two of my favorite health care thinkers appeared – together – in recent BBC magazine and radio interviews:  Gerd Gigerenzer and Glyn Elwyn. The BBC magazine story, “Do doctors understand test results?” is worth a look. The two also appeared on the BBC radio Health Check program. There’s nothing really new in the magazine feature, [...]

    No Comments
  • Mar 8 2014

    Absolute versus relative risk – hyping the obesity decline statistics

    On, Razib Khan wrote, “The Obesity Rate for Children Has Not Plummeted:  Despite what the New York Times tells you. The Times wasn’t alone in hyping “Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade,” reporting on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Dozens and dozens of stories [...]

  • Feb 24 2014

    Bohemian Polypharmacy – latest in clever YouTube video series

    I don’t know how James McCormack, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, finds time to produce these videos, but I’m a big fan.  His latest is “Bohemian Polypharmacy” – a parody of Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated. [...]

  • Feb 7 2014

    New cholesterol guidelines present need for shared decision-making

    Dr. Victor Montori and two Mayo Clinic colleagues published a perspective piece in JAMA this week, “Patient-Centered and Practical Application of New High Cholesterol Guidelines to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease.” In it, they discuss the new American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines for assessing cardiovascular disease and for treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce [...]

  • Jan 9 2014

    Saying No to “Know Your Numbers” campaigns

    “Know Your Numbers” campaigns can serve a useful purpose. But they can also be guilty of non-evidence-based fear-mongering.  They can fuel obsessions with numbers that fully-informed people might just as soon not know anything about. There can be harm living our lives worrying about numbers, test results – making ourselves sick when we are, in [...]

  • Dec 20 2013

    Did people learn from Angelina Jolie breast cancer news coverage?

    No, according to a study published in the journal Genetics in Medicine this week. And the researchers had several direct messages for journalists, such as: Celebrities can successfully raise awareness about a health issue, but it is a greater challenge for health journalists to ensure accurate understanding. As our understanding of the genetic contribution to [...]

  • Dec 17 2013

    Orac on Oz: fear-mongering over cellphones, bras and cancer

    On Twitter, one journalist wrote: “Has Dr. Oz reached his reprehensible worst?” See Orac’s post on ScienceBlogs for the entire story – which begins: “These days, Dr. Oz seems to stand for everything I oppose in medicine: Fear mongering, quackery, making claims that he can’t back up with science, and, of course, filthy lucre.”   [...]

    1 Comment