Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Effects of vitamin D for heart failure far from 'stunning'

Wednesday Apr 6 2016

"Vitamin D can produce 'amazing' improvements in heart function," claims The Independent about the results of a recent study, while BBC News reported suggestions the results were "stunning". However, the study in question...

'Dying of heartache?' Heart problems linked to bereavement

Wednesday Apr 6 2016

"You can die of a broken heart, study indicates," The Guardian reports. The study found that people who lost a partner had an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat up to a year after the death…

New drug 'effective' for those with intolerable statin side effects

Monday Apr 4 2016

"A breakthrough drug can slash levels of bad cholesterol by half without the side effects of statins," the Daily Mail reports. Statins are a class of drug used to reduce high cholesterol levels, often given to people thought to be…

Global obesity rates expected to soar in next decade

Friday Apr 1 2016

"One-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025," The Guardian reports, while The Sun warns that the "UK's population to be fattest in Europe" by the same date. These are just some of the conclusions of a major…

Can HRT in early menopause cut heart disease risk?

Friday Apr 1 2016

"Women who take HRT drugs soon after going through menopause are 'less likely to suffer heart disease','' the Daily Mail reports. A new study found that early adopters of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might slow…

Quitting smoking overnight 'better than cutting down gradually'

Tuesday Mar 15 2016

"Want to quit smoking? Forget trying to cut down, if you really want to kick the habit 'going cold turkey is the best option'," is the headline from the Mail Online. The news website reports on a trial by UK-based researchers that aimed to assess…

Study suggests gene may turn 'good' cholesterol into 'bad'

Monday Mar 14 2016

"Some people with high levels of supposedly 'good' cholesterol are at much greater risk of heart disease," BBC News reports. Researchers have identified a genetic variant – P376L – that may cause some people to have…

Can happiness break your heart?

Thursday Mar 3 2016

"Moments of joy 'can damage heart'," reports BBC News. That's the finding of a study carried out to assess whether Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) – where negative emotional events such as grief cause the chambers of the heart to balloon...

Half of all childhood asthma cases are 'overdiagnosed'

Friday Feb 26 2016

"Half a million children who have been diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. This is the finding of a Dutch study…

Air pollution 'kills 40,000 a year' in the UK, says report

Tuesday Feb 23 2016

"Air pollution is contributing to about 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK," BBC News reports. The figures are the conclusion of a report assessing the impact of air pollution on public health in the UK…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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