Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Binge drinking could trigger abnormal heart rhythms

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"Why Oktoberfest could be damaging your heart" is the somewhat strange headline in The Times. Researchers who attended the annual Bavarian beer and folk festival found binge drinkers were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythm patterns…

Reported link between diet drinks and dementia and stroke is weak

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Diet drinks triple your risk of stroke and dementia," the Daily Mail reports, as US research found a link between daily intake and increased risk. However, the chain of evidence is not as strong as reported…

Cycling commuters have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work," BBC News advises, prompted by a new study that found UK commuters who cycled to work had lower rates of cancer and heart disease…

Frog slime could protect us against future flu epidemic

Wednesday Apr 19 2017

"'Potent' new molecule in frog slime may give us new way to beat flu epidemics, say boffins," The Sun reports. Researchers looked at secretions from the skin of a south Indian frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara…

Firefighters warned about heart attack risk

Wednesday Apr 5 2017

"Working in hot temperatures increases the risk of suffering a heart attack," BBC News reports. It has been known for some time that the leading cause of death amongst serving firefighters is heart attacks and not fire-related injuries…

Loneliness may make cold symptoms feel worse

Friday Mar 31 2017

"Colds feel worse to lonely people," The Guardian reports. A US study, where participants were infected with the cold virus, found people who said they felt lonely also reported more severe symptoms…

Moderate drinking may reduce heart disease risk

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"A daily pint or glass of wine can slash the chances of a suffering heart attack by a third," reports The Sun. Researchers found that people who drank alcohol within moderate drinking guidelines were less likely to have a first episode…

New drug shows promise in preventing heart attacks

Monday Mar 20 2017

"The cholesterol drug that outperforms statins: Patients on the medication are '27% less likely to suffer a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The drug, evolocumab, makes the liver more effective at removing "bad" cholesterol from the blood…

Ibuprofen claimed to raise cardiac arrest risk by a third

Thursday Mar 16 2017

"Taking common painkillers like ibuprofen 'increases your risk of cardiac arrest by a THIRD'," The Sun reports. Researchers found a link between the potentially fatal heart problem and ibuprofen use…

Parents told to use pram covers to protect babies from air pollution

Friday Mar 10 2017

"Parents warned to use pram covers to protect babies from air pollution," reports The Daily Telegraph. The advice is prompted by a UK study where researchers simulated a normal walk to school in Guildford…

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