Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Probiotics 'may improve blood pressure'

Tuesday Jul 22 2014

Probiotics may help improve blood pressure

“Eating probiotics may lower blood pressure,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Probiotics, so-called “friendly bacteria”, have been found to moderately reduce blood pressure in a new study…

'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

Friday Jul 18 2014

'More adults should be taking statins' says NICE

NICE suggests thousands of lives a year could be saved if more adults were offered these cholesterol lowering drugs

Steroid asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

Thursday Jul 17 2014

Asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

"Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication," The Guardian reports. The effect found by researchers was small, on average a reduction of half a centimetre per year…

Study explores effect of plain cigarette packs

Tuesday Jul 15 2014

Study explores effect of anti-smoking images

"Long-term smokers find the taste of plain-packaged cigarettes worse than that of branded cigarettes," The Guardian reports. The news comes from Australian research into the impact of plain packaging and health risk warnings on packets of cigarettes…

Vitamin D deficiency linked to high blood pressure

Thursday Jun 26 2014

Vitamin D deficiency linked to high blood pressure

"Vitamin D supplements could help high blood pressure," The Independent reports. The paper reports on new research into genetic variations associated with low vitamin D levels and their relationship with blood pressure…

Teens could be given whooping cough booster

Wednesday Jun 25 2014

Teens may need whooping cough booster

“One in five children who see a doctor with a persistent cough may have…whooping cough, new research indicates,” The Independent reports. These findings have sparked calls for teenagers to be given a booster dose of the vaccine.

New pacemaker offers heart failure hope

Tuesday Jun 24 2014

Next-gen pacemaker offers heart failure hope

A new pacemaker which synchronises heart rate with breathing could "revolutionise" the lives of people with heart failure, The Daily Telegraph reports. The device helps match heart beats with variations in breathing rates…

Menthol cigs 'encourage teens to smoke more'

Tuesday Jun 24 2014

Menthol cigs 'encourage teens to smoke more'

"Menthol cigarettes ARE more addictive," the Mail Online claims, based on a survey of 5,000 teenagers. The 2010-11 Canadian school survey found that 16% of teenagers aged 14 to 18 smoke cigarettes…

Stress 'causes damage to the heart,' study finds

Monday Jun 23 2014

Stress 'can damage heart'

"Stress is already known to be bad for the heart, but now scientists have discovered why it is so harmful," The Times reports. A new US study now offers a plausible model of how chronic psychological stress could lead to…

Can a 'microwave helmet' detect strokes?

Tuesday Jun 17 2014

It sounds like science fiction but microwave helmets to detect stroke are a reality

"Microwave helmet 'can spot a stroke'," reports BBC News. There are two types of stroke. The majority of strokes are caused by a clot stopping blood flow to an area of the brain. This...

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

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