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August 16, 2018 | Story Review

Multigene test may find risk for common diseases, but there’s no evidence it will make anyone healthier

At the end of the day, what is important to most people is what exactly their individual risk might be, and the story offers no information on how well it evaluates that.


3 Star

Multigene test may find risk for heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer

August 15, 2018 | News Release Review

Combo pill for blood pressure: Concept isn’t novel but conflicts of interest are newsworthy

The news release buried the news that the combo pill offered modest improvement over standard treatment but didn’t reduce side effects significantly.

2 Star

Innovative triple pill significantly lowers blood pressure, study finds

August 14, 2018 | Story Review

How solid is the evidence behind the FDA-cleared ‘contraceptive app?’ ABC News doesn’t say

But, the story provided some data on the reported effectiveness of the app and cautioned it’s not foolproof.

3 Star

FDA approves marketing for a contraception app for the 1st time

August 14, 2018 | News Release Review

Modest improvement after major treatment touted as ‘reduced risk of dying’ in women with low-threat DCIS

A quarter of a percent reduced risk over a 15-year period seems speculative, not definitive.

3 Star

Association of radiation therapy plus lumpectomy in reduced risk of dying in women with DCIS

August 10, 2018 | Story Review 3

When n=1, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about a therapy working

Was it the hyperbaric treatment or something else that helped a patient profiled in a Philadelphia Inquirer story?

4 Star

Hyperbaric oxygen: The mysterious therapy that saved a cancer survivor from radiation side effects

August 10, 2018 | News Release Review

Big Cherry claims about health benefits leave a sour taste in our mouths

This release reads like an advertisement with pseudo-science added for flavor.

2 Star

New emerging research suggests Montmorency tart cherries may help enhance gut health

August 9, 2018 | Story Review

HealthDay neglects the potential harms of transplanting hepatitis-infected kidneys

Conflicts of interest also weren’t mentioned–and they were notable in this case.

3 Star

Hepatitis-Infected Kidneys a Safe Option for Transplant: Study

August 7, 2018 | News Release Review

Model suggests liquid biopsy improves prostate cancer outcomes, but that’s not the real world

The release would have been more complete with a discussion on cost, harms and a better description of the evidence.

2 Star

"Liquid biopsy" test improves health outcomes and can save over $500 million annually for the U.S. healthcare system


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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Story Reviews

Our team of reviewers applies 10 standardized criteria to news stories that include claims about health care interventions. ~2,000 reviews published.

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News Release Reviews

We systematically evaluate the quality of health care-related news releases by journals, medical centers, drug/device makers, others.

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Wide-ranging exploration of issues in journalism, journal publishing, health care PR, advertising and marketing. Some opinions - publisher Gary Schwitzer's & others'.

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