Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Smoking causes hundreds of genetic mutations

Monday Nov 7 2016

"Research quantifies genetic damage caused by smoking," the Mail reports, saying a pack a day causes 150 mutations in lung cells. This study analysed the DNA sequence of cells from more than 5,000 cancers...

Worrying about health linked to heart disease

Friday Nov 4 2016

"Worried well 'make themselves sick'," reports The Daily Telegraph. Several other news outlets covered the same story with headlines about how the "worried well" may be more likely to develop heart disease...

Eating one egg a day may lower risk of stroke

Wednesday Nov 2 2016

"An egg a day can cut chances of suffering a fatal stroke," The Times reports. A new review of existing data covering around 300,000 people suggests eating up to one egg a day may lower stroke risk; but not the risk of heart disease…

Mouthwash and disinfectant ingredient linked to 'superbug'

Tuesday Nov 1 2016

"A household mouthwash may be creating superbugs," the Daily Mail reports. A laboratory study found the ingredient chlorhexidine, used in a wide range of antiseptic products, increased bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin…

Are high-speed cyclists at risk from air pollution?

Monday Oct 31 2016

"High-speed cyclists 'breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution'," The Sun reports. Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, put together a mathematical model, and his figures suggest cycling faster than 20km…

Study recommends screening toddlers for heart disease risk

Thursday Oct 27 2016

"Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports. A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited…

'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

Thursday Oct 20 2016

"Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels…

Blood pressure drop on standing 'may be linked to dementia'

Wednesday Oct 12 2016

"Have you ever felt dizzy when you stand up?" asks the Mail Online. "You could be more at risk of dementia," the website warns. Researchers in Holland found a weak link between blood pressure drops on standing…

Ibuprofen-like painkillers linked to an increased risk of heart failure

Thursday Sep 29 2016

"Ibuprofen could raise the risk of heart failure by up to 83%," claims the Daily Mirror. But this headline massively overstates the danger of this painkiller. In fact, new research suggests that taking painkillers...

Contraceptive pills not proven to protect against the flu

Monday Sep 19 2016

"How taking the pill could protect you from the flu," was the curious headline on a recent Mail Online article. The equally curious animal study involved female mice who had their ovaries surgically removed…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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