Search Results for "headlines"
Headlines raise alarm over prescription drug depression risk. But who qualifies as depressed?
Hard to tell if these headlines are using fear-mongering as clickbait, or simply riding the latest wave of stories reporting on the escalating suicide rates in the U.S.: Millions are taking drugs, including birth control, that increase the risk of suicide (Quartz) Study: Adults Use Medications That Can Lead to Depression and Suicide (US News […]3
Despite screaming headlines, England’s breast cancer screening computer glitch didn’t kill anyone
A bureaucratic snafu in England has generated international headlines bemoaning the deaths of hundreds of women. Some coverage, such as this CNN story picked up by KSAT in San Antonio, brought visions of a mass casualty event on the scale of a terrorist attack or airline crash: Dozens of other news outlets chimed in with similarly […]3
A breast cancer study in mice gets big headlines, setting up potential for patient ‘disaster,’ experts say
“I spoke to several cancer specialists in New York City last night who said ‘caution, this is not ready for primetime.’” — ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton. That’s the key quote from a recent Good Morning America “Cover Story” segment about a mouse study exploring why breast cancer sometimes spreads in the immediate months […]1
Did a pricey cholesterol-lowering drug really reduce deaths, as headlines claim?
A highly anticipated clinical trial result for an expensive cholesterol-lowering drug drew plenty of news coverage over the weekend, with some stories declaring the drug, Praluent, reduced the risk of death. The Associated Press wrote: It’s the first time a cholesterol-lowering drug has reduced deaths since statins such as Lipitor and Crestor came out decades […]2
Drug kills flu in a day, news headlines claim. Here’s why that’s bad for public health
A Wall Street Journal story about a new drug that kills flu in a day certainly sounds exciting: “Japan has approved a drug that its maker says can kill the flu virus in 24 hours, advancing what health experts believe could be a breakthrough in the way the illness is treated,” The Journal reported. The […]
‘Ultra-processed’ foods and cancer: Headlines show the right way, and the wrong way, to frame study results
Today’s headlines on ultra-processed foods and cancer offer a good case study in the right way — and the wrong way — to frame the results of an observational study about diet and the risk of disease. The stories are based on a French study in which more than 100,000 people were asked about their […]
Headline vs. study: If only health news headlines would …
If only jolts of electricity to my brain could make me less forgetful. If only mice and baby pigs could read; or, at least, learn which oils and infant formulas are good for them. If only headlines — like those we feature below — would stop misleading people. Especially when it comes to common health […]
What you need to know about news headlines claiming ibuprofen use during early pregnancy impacts fertility of children
It’s quite a presumptuous leap to translate this study, “Ibuprofen is deleterious for the development of first trimester human fetal ovary ex vivo,” into this headline from the U.S. edition of The Guardian, “Ibuprofen taken in early pregnancy could affect daughter’s fertility – study.” No. This headline–and other headlines like it–are fear-mongering. The research, based on studying […]2
What you need to know about news headlines claiming flu causes heart attacks
The big news of the day is a Canadian study looking at patterns in hospital data that link the timing of hospitalization for heart attacks and flu infections. This study zeroed in on the medical records of people who, over a two-year period, had both confirmed diagnoses of heart attacks and flu during that time […]1
‘Clinically proven’ ear plugs for migraines make news headlines, with little evidence they work
Do you have migraine attacks? Use a $12 over-the-counter ear plug-type device called MigraineX, a recent news release insisted, and you’ll experience an 81% improvement in weather-related migraine headaches. Some news organizations took the PR bait. Fox 4 Kansas City included the product in a news segment on natural, affordable migraine remedies, parroting the news […]
A heaping helping of half-baked health headlines: 6 examples
Last week we shared a Thanksgiving edition of our favorite picks in healthcare journalism, as part of our regularly occurring 5-star Friday series. Unfortunately, now we need to turn to 5-star flops, of which there were plenty over the holiday (just like last year). Blame it on the slow Thanksgiving news cycle and/or understaffed newsrooms–whatever […]
Be wary of news headlines promising to unlock secrets of ‘living longer’
As a TIME story points out, a new study on light activity and reduced mortality can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, yet the story never really explains why this is the case.
Want to Live Longer? Every Movement Counts, Even Cleaning the House
Not so fast: News headlines claiming two therapies were proven ‘equally effective’ for treating opioid use disorder
Last week’s big health news was a study on two medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder. Published in The Lancet, the study compared the monthly injectable treatment Vivitrol (naltrexone) to a dissolvable oral strip called Suboxone (buprenorphine). Depending on which news headline you came across, your main takeaway about the study would likely either be […]1
Headlines claim light drinking during pregnancy is ‘okay’ — researchers say that’s not okay
A study about alcohol use during pregnancy kicked up major media waves last weekend—but was all that frothy coverage warranted? It was another lesson in the pitfalls of reporting on scientific research, as headlines around the world issued some potentially dangerous misinformation. The Times of London, one of the largest daily newspapers in the UK, […]4
Experts recommend pulling widely used heart attack test: Should this have made headlines?
For decades the creatine kinase-myocardial band test, or CK-MB for short, was the go-to blood test doctors used to determine if a patient’s heart muscle had been damaged by a heart attack (or, myocardial infarction). But over the past few years the reliability of the test has been called into question by several major, peer-reviewed […]