UK study: Sleep quality is a strong predictor of chronic pain

Non-restorative sleep is the strongest, independent predictor of widespread pain onset among adults over the age of 50, according to a new study in Arthritis & Rheumatology. Researchers in the United Kingdom found anxiety, memory impairment and poor physical health among older adults may also increase the risk of developing widespread pain. Chronic pain affects […]

New reports out on health care costs, transparency and new insurance strategies

Three reports – all on various aspects of health care costs – caught my eye today: The State of the Art of Price Transparency Tools and Solutions A report released today by Catalyst for Payment Reform examines the price transparency tools and solutions. A summary can be found in the Health Affairs blog. An AHCJ webcast on Dec. 12 will feature CPR’s executive […]

Embargoed bedbug study comes with a bite

Recently, as part of a package of studies sent to reporters in advance of their annual meeting, the American Chemical Society put out an embargoed press release on a study of bedbug genes. The study details how researchers at the University of Kentucky surveyed the entire genomes of 21 different bedbug populations collected from large […]

Finding good reads on medical research

If guys can have bromance, surely writers are allowed a little prosemance. Here, then, is a brief list of some of my favorite medical research bloggers: Hilda Bastian is the editor and curator of PubMed Health. Check out her new blog for Scientific American, Absolutely Maybe, about uncertainty in medical evidence.  She talks about statistics […]

AHCJ members take on new professional challenges

Sally James, a Seattle-based independent journalist, recently spoke to more than 500 people at Town Hall in Seattle about how to communicate complex science better through what is known as “up-goer” language – using only the thousand most common English words. The talk, available on YouTube, was given through Ignite Seattle, a nonprofit whose motto is “Enlighten us, but make […]

Report: Children shortchanged when it comes to dental health

Every year, millions of American children go without a dental visit. That lack of care weighs most heavily upon the poor. A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, embargoed until 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 25, takes a state-by-state look at the complex problem. It also targets two factors for blame: the uneven distribution […]

Plenty of pitfalls in reporting on medical studies #ahcj13

Seventy percent of news articles on medical studies fail to discuss costs of the treatment studies, quantify potential harms and benefits, and evaluate the quality of evidence, said Gary Schwitzer, publisher of Health News Review, which reviewed 1,800 such stories over the past seven years. “Seventy percent of articles make things look terrific, risk-free and without a price tag,” Schwitzer […]

Lessons from a soda study that lost its fizz

Last October, Brigham and Women’s Hospital took the unusual step of recalling a press release about a research study. Just hours before the study’s embargo lifted, Brigham’s press officers asked the researchers to stop giving interviews, and barely half an hour before the story went live, they alerted the press that the study’s data was […]

JAMA editor predicts embargoes will be up for discussion

This is a guest post by AHCJ board member and AP medical writer Carla K. Johnson, who leads AHCJ’s Chicago chapter. Howard Bauchner, M.D., editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, spoke to about 25 journalists and students at a recent AHCJ Chicago chapter event hosted by JAMA at its Chicago office. “I […]