Search Results for "association causation"
Epidurals ease post-partum depression? Release relies on weak finding of association
There are no hard numbers, risks or costs provided in this release. It instead relies heavily on association which does not prove causation.
Easing Labor Pain May Help Reduce Postpartum Depression in Some Women,Early Research Suggests
For breakfast, give me 2 observational studies and an anti-irritant
This is the way many of my days begin. I check for messages – across all media – and I see this on Twitter from Adam Cifu, MD, one of our former editorial contributors: I think this article was published just to irritate @VPrasadMDMPH and @garyschwitzer https://t.co/KWVqMEk3K8 — Adam Cifu (@adamcifu) June 30, 2020 Once […]
Same old, same old, with NY Times Well column – bisphosphonates for pneumonia this time
While the overarching theme may be the same – the puzzling editorial decision-making in the New York Times Well blog/column – the specific topics change – and so, provide more examples for instruction. Bone Drugs May Have Added Benefit: Lower Pneumonia Risk is the headline of the latest troubled piece that caught my eye. The opening line: […]
Flubs and flaws in New York Times stories on llamas and coffee
I’ve written it and said it before: I applaud most of the New York Times pandemic-era news coverage. But I continue to see head-scratching lapses in editorial approach and judgment – flaws that could be so easily corrected with a bit more caution and care. Hoping llamas will become coronavirus heroes is a Times story […]
Fact-checking – by itself – is inherently flawed on health care topics
Fact-checking has become one of the buzziest buzzwords in journalism. There are more than 100 fact-checking projects around the world. It’s been trotted out to counter alleged “fake” news. And to monitor the accuracy of political leaders who stretch the boundaries of believability. April 2 has been proclaimed International Fact-Checking Day. Indeed, genuine fact-checking may play an important […]
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 […]2
A final HealthNewsReview.org report card from 3,200+ systematic reviews of health care news stories & PR releases
In 2005, as I began building HealthNewsReview.org, I got permission from Dr. David Henry of the Media Doctor Australia project to adopt their news story review criteria. In the ensuing 13 years, no one has ever placed in front of me a solid, specific suggestion for a better set of criteria for reviewing stories about […]
Headline vs. study: Predicting, preventing and other clickbait
Predicting and preventing. These are powerful words that hold strong appeal for most of us, especially when it comes to our health. But the reality is this: There are very few diseases that can be predicted and prevented. Try to name just one and you’ll see that it’s rarely, if ever, possible. And yet we […]2
5 categories of quality web content for you to explore when we cease daily publication
Many of you have asked by email or on Twitter, “Where do we turn for help after you go away?” First, we’re not disappearing on January 1, 2019, and the site won’t go dark. I’ll keep it alive for at least three years. And I hope to add new content periodically by hiring freelancers or writing […]10
How some journalists got hooked by fish oil and vitamin D spin
Results of a much-anticipated trial on fish oil and vitamin D generated conflicting headlines last weekend. Some stories declared good news about the popular supplements: Reuters wrote that fish oil “can dramatically reduce the odds of a heart attack while vitamin D’s benefits seem to come from lowering the risk of death from cancer.” The […]
CNN overstates evidence linking neck pulse measurements to increased dementia risk
The story didn’t tell readers this was an observational study–cause-and-effect couldn’t be established.
Five-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years earlier, say scientists
How minimally invasive surgery was spun as the ‘latest and greatest’ for cervical cancer
To understand how minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer became popular before high-quality evidence was available about its outcomes, consider some rah-rah local news coverage. Back in 1995, for example, The Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported that laparoscopy “made surgery simpler and less painful,” with a doctor calling its tiny incisions a “breakthrough” for cervical […]
Problematic PR releases: Medical studies backed by food industry trade groups
Long considered a downmarket cooking oil with ho-hum health benefits, cottonseed oil has now been linked to lowering cholesterol, according to a recent news release from the University of Georgia. As the release explains, “researchers suggested a fatty acid unique to cottonseed oil, dihydrosterculic acid, may help prevent the accumulation of triglycerides, a type of fat, in […]
A step-by-step guide to creating health care clickbait
Effective clickbait doesn’t just happen. It’s carefully crafted. Take this wildly misleading article from CNN: Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals. It’s one example — among many generated daily by various news outlets — of how a mundane observational study can be transformed into viral internet gold. […]
Recap of some knee surgeons’ use of aspirin as a clot buster skims over study limitations
Harms from aspirin, including bleeding risk, were not mentioned.