Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Exercise pill' could potentially help people with heart failure

Wednesday Aug 9 2017

"Pill that mimics effects of going to the gym could transform lives of heart failure patients," the Daily Mirror reports. While the news sounds promising, it is important to make clear the research involved rodents, not people…

More older adults 'may benefit from taking statins,' study reports

Tuesday Aug 1 2017

"Nearly all men over 60 and women over 75 eligible for statins, analysis suggests," The Guardian reports. This is the finding of a study that aimed to see how many people in England…

Long working week 'may increase risk of irregular heartbeat'

Friday Jul 14 2017

"Long working days can cause heart problems, study says," The Guardian reports. Researchers found people who work 55 or more hours a week had an increased risk of developing a type of irregular heartbeat…

Can coffee machines and kettles spread toxic spores?

Monday Jun 26 2017

"Your coffee machine could be making you ill," the Mail Online reports, saying that steam released by the machine could be creating the perfect conditions for fungi to grow. The Sun reports a similar risk for kettles and showers…

'Contaminated air' on planes linked to health problems

Wednesday Jun 21 2017

"Toxic fumes in aircraft cabins could cause serious health problems, scientists warn:" reports The Sun. This is based on a UK study investigating air contamination on aircraft and its possible effects on the health of pilots and cabin crew…

Cholesterol-lowering jab 'shows promise' for heart disease

Tuesday Jun 20 2017

"Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease," reports BBC Online. The headline refers to a recent mouse study that aimed to see whether a new vaccine could reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease…

Is a new flu pandemic just three mutations away?

Friday Jun 16 2017

"Just three mutations are needed to make bird flu a potential pandemic strain that could kill millions," is the alarming headline from the Mail Online. However, the chance of all three mutations occurring has been described as "relatively low"…

Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports

Tuesday May 30 2017

"Many patients given beta blockers after a heart attack may not benefit from being on the drugs, suggesting they may be being overprescribed," The Guardian reports. Beta-blockers are drugs used to regulate the heart by making it beat…

Fitness trackers' calorie measurements are prone to error

Friday May 26 2017

"Fitness trackers out of step when measuring calories, research shows," The Guardian reports. An independent analysis of a number of leading brands found they were all prone to inaccurate recording of energy expenditure…

'Chocolate good for the heart' claims sadly too good to be true

Wednesday May 24 2017

"Regularly tucking into a bar of chocolate may actually be good for us," reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Denmark say people who eat chocolate one to six times a week are less likely to get a heart condition called atrial fibrillation…

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