Health News Review
  • Jan 5 2012

    CDC fixes holiday pitch after getting aspirin advice wrong

    The following is a guest post submitted by Frederik Joelving, reporter and editor at Reuters Health. You can follow him on Twitter at @joelving. ———————————————————————————————————————————– A couple of weeks ago, I received an email reminding me just how easy it is to stray from good evidence in the name of disease awareness. And this time [...]

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  • Aug 16 2011

    FDA publishes “Communicating Risks & Benefits: An Evidence-Based User’s Guide”

    The FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee, of which I’m a member, today published a book written by committee members, “Communicating Risks and Benefits: An Evidence-Based User’s Guide.” The book is available online as a pdf file. My chapter was on the tendency for journalists, when reporting on health care interventions, to exaggerate benefits and minimize [...]

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  • Jul 11 2011

    “Think Inside the Box” – call for plain English facts labels about Rx drugs

    Catchup from last week: Dartmouth’s Steve Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz had a New York Times op-ed piece last week, “Think Inside the Box,” promoting their terrific idea of “a simple model” for conveying “independent, plain-English facts” about prescription drugs. They write: “The government should follow through on proposals to require fact boxes, similar to those [...]

  • Dec 28 2010

    A leading health policy issue for 2010-11: communicating tradeoffs in screening test decisions

    One trend that stands out from 2010 is what I call screening madness. I’m referring specifically and solely to the promotion of screening tests outside the boundaries of evidence and to the emphasis only on the benefits of screening tests with concomitant downplaying or complete disregard for the harms of screening. Why is this a [...]

  • Dec 21 2010

    Risk comm guru Gigerenzer argues that absolute risk communication is a moral issue

    Professor Gerd Gigerenzer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin is one of the world’s leaders in risk communication. He teaches doctors, policy-makers, journalists and the general public. He has written before about how misleading communication of risk is a moral issue for medical journals, for journalists, for researchers, and for anyone [...]

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  • Aug 3 2010

    Beware surrogate markers: colon polyps, arterial plaque, cholesterol, tumor markers

    Michael Kirsch, M.D, who blogs as MD Whistleblower, offers an educational insight about surrogate markers – especially helpful if you don’t know much about these. And, in his estimation, many news stories don’t seem to reflect much knowledge on the topic. Excerpt: Why do some medical studies, which achieve breaking news status, often fall so [...]

  • Aug 26 2009

    Old news, news releases & confidence intervals

    Dr. Len’s Cancer Blog, written by Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, offers a terrific example of how to scrutinize confidence intervals in a study. He commented on a study that got a lot of news coverage – suggesting that women with breast cancer who took tamoxifen had 440% [...]

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  • Nov 3 2008

    On-air spat between anchor and medical correspondent

    Dr. Nancy Snyderman of NBC News appeared on the Today Show with Matt Lauer last week, profiling a physician-author who has written that the best science does not establish a causal link between childhood vaccines and autism. Lauer, in a followup question, mis-spoke and called it a “casual” link – not causal. One wonders whether [...]