Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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