Health News Review
  • Dec 22 2014

    Monday health news roundup: mostly gems, one dud

    I realize that I wrote about the following things on my Monday morning email digest, but if you don’t subscribe to that email, you didn’t see what we wrote.  (One solution:  sign up to subscribe to the emails.  It’s free.) Some things we saw that we really liked: Richard Smith’s feature in The BMJ,  “Are [...]

  • Sep 15 2014

    USA Today story shows lack of awareness of debate over pre-diabetes classification

    USA Today published a story, “Pre-diabetes, diabetes rates fuel national health crisis.” But the story fails to note one word of caution or skepticism about the definition of pre-diabetes.  Just two months ago, Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic and John Yudkin of University College London wrote in The BMJ, “The epidemic of pre-diabetes:  the [...]

  • Jul 21 2014

    Niacin news provides another example of how surrogate outcomes don’t tell whole story

    In his weekly journal review, Dr. Richard Lehman points out another classic example of how you can’t jump to conclusions just because a drug has an impact on a surrogate outcome.  It’s the big stuff we should focus on – not the surrogates.  He writes: Niacin is an abundant natural B vitamin, which lowers bad [...]

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  • Jul 10 2013

    Some skeptical views of NYT front page “race for cholesterol drug” story

    A front-page story in the New York Times today, “Rare Mutation Ignites Race for Cholesterol Drug,” is worthy of further exploration. Any time the NYT puts a health/medical/science story on the front page, it probably warrants further exploration.   But I don’t think NYT front-page placement automatically warrants further front-page pickup by media across the [...]

  • Dec 21 2012

    Story of Tredaptive “good cholesterol drug” another lesson on surrogate endpoints

    There was much news coverage of the announcement yesterday that Merck won’t try to get its cholesterol drug Tredaptive approved in the US after new questions about efficacy and safety were raised in a study. Bloomberg reported: Tredaptive was designed to raise levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. The findings call into question the benefits [...]

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  • Dec 6 2012

    Shooting down the Star’s story on breakthrough breast cancer drug

    The Toronto Star reported, “New breast cancer drug heralded as breakthrough.” Let’s be clear about this at the outset:  we’ve interviewed countless women with breast cancer and we share their yearning for breakthroughs.  But we also share the healthy skepticism of many of the breast cancer survivors we’ve met about jumping to early conclusions about [...]

  • Jul 12 2012

    The alcohol-osteoporosis news: just 40 women…only a surrogate marker

    In a race for incomplete news coverage, news about a study in the journal Menopause, “Moderate alcohol intake lowers biochemical markers of bone turnover in postmenopausal women,” may outpace news from earlier in the week from a BMJ paper about alcohol and arthritis – both in volume and in missing key caveats. This was a [...]

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