The National Center for Health Research conducts, analyzes, and explains the latest research and works with patients, consumers, and opinion leaders to use that information to improve their own health and to develop better programs, policies, and services.
- We conduct research that has the potential to improve health care.
- We translate research findings into free information and training that can be used to improve health and safety to individuals and communities nationwide. In addition to this website, we have a website dedicated to cancer information at stopcancerfund.org.
- We work with the media to help get the word out to those who will most benefit from it.
- We educate policy makers, policy analysts, and opinion leaders through briefings, hearings, meetings, and written materials based on the information.
- We share our publications and information with other organizations, researchers, and advocates.
- We coordinate and strategize with them, working together to inform the public and be part of the public debate on policy issues.
- We use that information effectively to improve the health of adults and children.
Our free Health Research 101 webinar is available here. It can help you know what questions to ask when you hear about research results.
We worked with health professionals, disability experts, and patient advocates to brainstorm about what is known and not known about treatment for Long COVID. Click here for more information on our project and links to 5 one-hour webinars on a range of topics related to disability eligibility and treatment options.
On March 1, 2023, NCHR staff met with the FDA Commissioner and other key FDA staff, on the FDA campus with our colleagues from the Patient, Consumer, and Public Health Coalition. We discussed several issues of mutual interest, including the importance of FDA approval being based on evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit to patients.
On February 28, we met with CMS officials to express our support for Medicare’s restrictions on the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm. See our previous statement of support here; our 2021 coalition letter to the HHS Inspector General, CMS, Congress and the White House; and our 2023 coalition letter to CMS supporting its coverage decisions for Alzheimer’s Disease drugs here.
Are you worried you might have the coronavirus? Are you wondering if you should get the vaccine or booster? Are you getting your life back to normal but still wondering how careful to be?
Many people who are infected don’t have any symptoms, but if you have symptoms they are likely to appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Having a negative test in the first days after exposure doesn’t mean you aren’t infected. And even with a negative test, you might still be able to infect others.
Confused about the conflicting info on coronavirus face masks, testing, risks to children, and what you should and should not do? We have everything you need to know about COVID-19, including the basic information about the virus, how to prevent COVID-19, and what to do if you have symptoms.
News You Can Use
March 8, 2023: Today the FDA announced that 19 women were reported in medical publications who developed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the capsule around breast implants. This is more than the 10 women that FDA reported in September. Several of the women died. It is important to know that 24 cases of SCC have been reported to the FDA, but it is not known if these cases overlap with the 19 that were published or if some of the 24 cases were reported more than once. Some of the women had silicone gel implants, some had saline implants, some textured, some smooth. Some of the women got breast implants for augmentation, others for reconstruction after mastectomy. That means that all women with breast implants need to be aware of this risk, even though it may be rare.
Last September, the FDA also reported 12 cases of lymphomas different from anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that were also caused by breast implants. The agency has not updated those numbers.
NCHR Report: Breast Implant Illnesses: What’s the Evidence?
Debate swirls over the risks of breast implants, and physicians and patients are justifiably confused by the conflicting information available. Despite surgeons’ claims that implants are proven safe, more than 70,000 women with breast implants have reported that they have serious symptoms that they refer to as “breast implant illness.” Our new report finds clear evidence that implants increase the chances of those symptoms and removing implants usually improves’ their health. Women considering breast implants after mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons will want to know about this report and of this Patient Informed Consent checklist and black box warning. The checklist and black box warning were developed by the Breast Implant Working Group, which consisted of Dr. Diana Zuckerman (National Center for Health Research), a past and current president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Karuna Jaggar (Breast Cancer Action), Judy Norsigian (Our Bodies Ourselves) and breast implant patient advocates. The checklist was endorsed by their organizations, as a requirement to be read and signed by all potential breast implant patients.
NCHR Report: The Health Risks of MRIs with Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common diagnostic procedure that can improve the quality of medical care and save lives. Gadolinium-based contrast agents are used with MRIs to improve diagnostic accuracy. However, in 2006, it was determined that patients with severe kidney dysfunction who underwent MRIs with contrast could develop a serious condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). In recent years, there is increasing concern that gadolinium can be harmful even for patients whose kidneys are not impaired. Read this report to learn more.
NCHR Report: Is TMS Proven Effective for Depression?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices have stimulated the brains of tens of thousands of patients in the U.S., often as a treatment for depression. TMS treatment typically costs $300 per session, usually 5 days/week for 4 to 6 weeks. And yet, there is no clear evidence that it works at all, or is more beneficial than the much less expensive and more convenient antidepressant medications. This report examines the questionable effectiveness of TMS, and could save you thousands of dollars and a very frustrating experience.