Health News Review
  • Oct 22 2013

    When doctors don’t discuss harms of screening tests with patients

    …papers in journals that overestimate the effectiveness of screening.  And so communication with patients suffers. And, as we consistently point out, many media messages – in journalism, advertising, marketing and public relations – lead to even worse public understanding. Here’s a Reuters Health story on the paper – one of the only mainstream news stories we saw on it. Here are some things we’ve published in the past…

  • Jul 10 2013

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

    … developers’ mouths, we should be skeptical anyway.  So why the front page story? “This is our top priority,” said Dr. Andrew Plump, the head of translational medicine at Sanofi. “Nothing else we are doing has the same public health impact.” What public health impact?  The drugs have had no public health impact yet.  “Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, the director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, estimates that even if the drugs …

  • Nov 4 2013

    The Economics & Politics of Drugs for Mild Hypertension

    …#8220;I think that the entire conclusion of this analysis is flawed. It really has no clinical importance, [and] it should not be adopted by any practicing physician.” It should be noted that Dr. White has had financial relationships with 15 drug companies that make blood pressure lowering medications, topping the eight of Dr. Oparil. Cochrane is an elite journal in evidence-based medicine, and the review of drugs for mild hypertension had …

  • Jan 2 2013

    Columbia Journalism Review cover story on health journalism that “grossly mislead(s) the public”

    …shed scientific findings.But personal-health journalists have fallen into a trap. Even while following what are considered the guidelines of good science reporting, they still manage to write articles that grossly mislead the public, often in ways that can lead to poor health decisions with catastrophic consequences. Blame a combination of the special nature of health advice, serious challenges in medical research, and the failure of science jour…

  • Jan 20 2010

    Kaiser Health News: Why public support for health care reform faltered

    A team of reporters from KHN delivers this thoughtful piece. Excerpts: “There’s nothing in (the proposals) the average person could understand about why your costs would be lower,” says Robert Blendon, professor of health policy at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “They don’t even have good illustrations about how it would be cheaper. They did not find a way to save money for people with job-based insuran…

  • Feb 23 2011

    Minnesota Public Radio applies truth squad to former Gov’s health care claims

    Minnesota Public Radio’s Lorna Benson recently reported: “As he prepares for a possible run for the presidency, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been touting the success of Minnesota’s home-grown health reforms during his national book tour. Pawlenty, a Republican, said the state has designed a good blueprint for reining in costs that the rest of the nation should follow. While it’s true that Minnesota has been experimentin…

  • Jul 20 2011

    Australian author: increasing public awareness about ovarian CA can have downside

    …until an advanced stage of the disease. Against this backdrop, a National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre survey has shown that one in five women can’t name one symptom of ovarian cancer. This has formed the basis of a public health campaign to raise awareness of the cancer and its associated symptoms. The trouble is that the symptoms that may signal an underlying cancer are vague, non-specific and, as our study has found, extremely common…

  • Aug 4 2009

    A growing public health threat: network TV morning health news segments

    …ce covers it. If your premiums went up because she was in your insurance pool, would you be happy? NBC Today show Lose weight while you sleep? February 9, 2009 Rating: (0 stars out of possible 5) NBC gave 5.5 minutes of free publicity to Glamour magazine’s pseudo-scientific experiment, then made bold, baseless projections that women would “probably add about 7 years to their life”. Amazing. Paralysis & spinal cord injury …

  • Sep 20 2010

    “Future of Health Journalism” in Public Health Forum journal

    I know this probably feels like Germany day on this blog. But what’s wrong with that? In writing earlier about my visit to Dortmund last week, I remembered that some of my brief thoughts on “The Future of Health Journalism” were published in the German journal, Public Health Forum, this month. Summary: “The future of health journalism will be determined by which roles journalists choose for themselves: cheerleader or …

  • Jan 4 2012

    Editorials cite “crazy medicine, unsustainable public policy” with new radiation treatments

    …ve one. With Medicare reimbursement so generous, and patients and doctors eager for the latest technology, building new machines is sane, profitable business for hospitals like Mayo. But it is crazy medicine and unsustainable public policy.” ADDENDUM: Mayo Clinic’s CEO reacted to the New York Times piece. …




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