Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on HealthNewsReview.org came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.
6/26/2019

Men’s Health Month is a medical marketing marvel

As a kid, I remember the song, “June is bustin’ out all over” from the musical Carousel. These days, June is Men’s Health Month, and with it comes some helpful reminders. But Twitter is bustin’ out all over with balderdash, baloney and BS on many men’s health topics. If you visit the #MensHealthMonth hashtag on […]

6/6/2019

9,125 cups of coffee a year still good for you?

As crazy as our headline sounds, it is merely taking CNN’s headline, below, and spreading it out over a year. CNN quoted one of the researchers: The main message for people to take away from this is that coffee can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle, and coffee lovers can be reassured by […]

6/5/2019

Alex Trebek’s ‘near remission’ story serves as a reminder: Beware celebrity health news

In People magazine’s latest cover story, Alex Trebek said his advanced pancreatic cancer is in “near remission.” People portrayed this as a dramatic turnaround: When Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer three months ago, fans were shocked. But now the beloved Trebek has good news to share: He’s in “near […]

5/29/2019

Viewers get scenery, not science, as CNN explores global ‘secrets’ to living longer

In CNN’s reality-based series, “Chasing Life,” correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta travels to far-flung reaches of the planet to explore health care practices rooted in cultural traditions. The show — which is available on the streaming platform CNNgo — was produced by the same division that created Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, and it was clearly designed […]

5/21/2019

What you need to know about hospitals nationwide promoting free hernia screenings

The more you screen, the more you find.  And the more you find, the more you find that is not really something you needed to — or wanted to — find.  That’s true with just about any health screening test. And you can include hernia screening.  Yes, hernia screening, which has become a big-time target […]

5/17/2019

Tone deaf promotion of very early research on smartphone app for kids’ ear fluid

STAT does some great stuff.  And some clunkers.  They get enough praise for the great stuff, but not enough scrutiny of the clunkers.  This is one such example. A story based on very preliminary research touted the early work in very promotional tones. A smartphone app could help diagnose ear infections more accurately — and […]

5/16/2019

NY Times was blind to flaws in “Statins May Cut Glaucoma Risk” story

Let me count the ways in which I am moved to write about another unwell piece in the New York Times Well section – “Statins May Cut Glaucoma Risk.”  Let’s begin with the first line:  “More good news about cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.” No, it’s not good news.  There’s no “take it to the bank” definitive […]

5/7/2019

What you need to know about claims of health care ‘firsts’

Spot the word “first” in a headline and you might assume a major milestone has been reached. Think first person on the moon, first woman on the Supreme Court. But in health care news, things heralded for being first might not amount to a clear advance for patients. Take two recent FDA announcements that made […]

12/21/2018

5 quick PR tricks to cover up a lack of real health care news

As all researchers know, science is a grinding parade of failure and dead ends. But as we’ve often written, news release writers sometimes seem hell-bent on making the public believe otherwise. Like expert makeup artists, they can add sparkle to lackluster findings, mask blemishes in study designs, and smooth over unimpressive data. One thing I […]

12/21/2018

As renewed debate over health care reform begins to simmer in Washington, can journalists give the topic the attention it needs?

Dec. 14th’s lower court ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional has again thrust health care back on the national agenda. It also gives journalists a chance to redeem themselves from what I have argued has been poor news coverage that helped fuel the public backlash against the law from the beginning. A lot […]

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Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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