Bad News Bears: After Scary Headlines Some Patients Stopped Taking Statins

Study provokes discussion about the responsibilities of medical journals and the general media. A new study and surrounding discussion raises important questions about the role and responsibility of researchers, editors, and journalists when tackling topics with potentially life-affecting consequences. The new study, published in the BMJ, found that many people stopped taking statins in the…

Click here to continue reading…

What If The Media Covered The World Series The Same Way It Covers Science?

Note: This is a slightly updated version of an old post. I think it is especially relevant at this time of year. October brings the Nobel Prize announcements and the World Series. No one will mistake media coverage of one for the other. Each Nobel Prize will get one article and 10 seconds on the…

Click here to continue reading…

No, Drinking Coffee Won’t Save Your Life Or Prevent Heart Attacks

Once again the media has swallowed the bait hook, line, and sinker. Following the publication of a  a new study in the journal Heart last night, hundreds of news reports have now appeared extolling the miraculous benefits of coffee. Here’s just one typical headline from the Los Angeles Times: “Another reason to drink coffee: It’s good for your heart, study…

Click here to continue reading…

New York City Ebola Doctor Slams Media And Governors Christie And Cuomo

The response in the US to the Ebola crisis last year brought out the worst in the media and our politicians. By comparison, our response to the recent measles crisis– by no means a model for public health communication– had the sophistication and intelligence of a debate at the Oxford Union. One of the chief victims of the hysteria was Craig…

Click here to continue reading…

Massive Heart Attack Or Massive Journalistic Irresponsibility?

A great lesson in how not to report about heart attacks in the general media, from Gary Schwitzer, health journalism watchdog: Journalists: don’t use the term “massive” heart attack if you don’t know what you’re talking about … Very quickly, the term “massive heart attack” started going viral among Minnesota news organizations and on Twitter and…

Click here to continue reading…

This Week In Medicine: Stop Exercising and Eat Chocolate!

It’s been a terrific few days of medical news for lazy people and chocoholics. First, a study in PLoS One provided ammunition to the exercise-averse crowd by claiming that exercise can actually be bad for some healthy people. As an added bonus, a story about the study was carried on the front page of the…

Click here to continue reading…