Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Statins side effects are minimal study argues

Thursday Mar 13 2014

Statins side effects are minimal study argues

"Cholesterol-lowering statins have almost no side effects," The Guardian reports. A new UK study argues that the majority of reported side effects are actually due to the nocebo effect; symptoms that are literally "all in the mind"…

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

Wednesday Mar 5 2014

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

'Passive smoking causes lasting damage to children's arteries, prematurely ageing their blood vessels by more than three years' BBC News reports. A Finnish study has found evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke damages children’s arteries…

Angry outbursts may up heart attack risk

Tuesday Mar 4 2014

Angry outbursts may up heart attack risk

'Having a hot temper may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to researchers' BBC News reports. US researchers found that people prone to attacks of range had a higher risk of a serious cardiovascular event…

Five-year 'death test' provides few answers

Wednesday Feb 26 2014

Five-year 'death test' provides few answers

A “death test” that supposedly predicts the chance of a healthy person dying in the next five years has been developed by scientists, The Daily Telegraph reports…

Flu jab may cut stroke risk by a quarter

Friday Feb 21 2014

Flu jab may cut stroke risk by a quarter

'People who have the seasonal flu jab care 24 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke' is the encouraging news in The Daily Telegraph. New research appears to suggest that flu makes people more vulnerable to stroke risk factors…

'Boris bikes' may be good for your health

Friday Feb 14 2014

'Boris bikes' may be good for your health

"London's cycle hire scheme has had a positive effect on the health of its users," BBC News reports. So-called "Boris bikes" (named for the "colourful" Mayor of London, Boris Johnson) have led to improvements in both physical and mental health…

Roll-ups 'as hazardous as factory made cigarettes'

Wednesday Feb 12 2014

Roll-ups just as bad as factory-made cigarettes

“Rollies vs Straights: Roll-your-own ‘at least as hazardous as any other type of cigarette’,” reports The Independent. “Roll-ups” (cigarettes made using rolling tobacco and paper), have been associated with poverty…

NICE publishes new draft guidelines on statins use

Wednesday Feb 12 2014

Thousands more should be prescribed statins say NICE

"Millions more people should be put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs," BBC News reports. Draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended that the drugs should be given to people with an…

Sugar intake linked to heart disease deaths

Tuesday Feb 4 2014

Sugar intake linked to heart disease deaths

“Three fizzy drinks per day could triple chance of heart disease,” says The Daily Telegraph. Its headline is based on a major US study showing a link between high levels of sugar consumption and a higher relative risk of dying from cardiovascular disease…

Media hype blood clot risk of birth control pills

Monday Feb 3 2014

Birth control pill blood clot risk hyped by media

“Deadly risk of pill used by 1m women: Every GP in Britain told to warn about threat from popular contraceptive,” reports the Mail Online. Combined hormonal contraceptives (or “the pill”) are in the news after letters were sent to doctors…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer