Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks 'may be a risky cocktail'

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could be a risky combination, leading to a greater risk of accidents and injuries," BBC News report. A review of evidence found a number of potential risks, but the picture was not as clear-cut as reported…

Children's screen time linked to diabetes risk factors

Tuesday Mar 14 2017

"Children who are allowed more than three hours of screentime a day are at greater risk of developing diabetes," The Guardian reports. In a new study, UK researchers found a link between three hours or more of screen time and risk factors…

Hair loss drugs linked with erectile dysfunction

Monday Mar 13 2017

"Men who take this drug [finasteride] to combat baldness are 'five times more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction'," The Sun reports. While this may sound hair-raising, the actual evidence the paper is reporting on is not a major cause for concern…

Substance found in red wine 'helps fight ageing'

Wednesday Mar 8 2017

“Red wine can ‘help fight the ageing process’ – but how much would you have to drink?,” is the question posed by The Sun, after a US study suggested a substance found in the skin of red grapes may help keep muscles and nerves healthy as we get older...

Regular activity may help some people stay 'fat and fit'

Thursday Mar 2 2017

"You can be fat and healthy," is the misleading headline from the Daily Mail. While a Dutch study did find that activity could help avoid the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with obesity…

Exercise 'most proven method' to prevent return of breast cancer

Wednesday Feb 22 2017

"A half hour stroll a day can help women who've survived breast cancer prevent the killer disease returning," The Sun reports. A review of recent evidence, carried out by Canadian researchers, was prompted by the fact that many women…

Worrying about work out-of-hours 'may be bad for the heart'

Monday Feb 20 2017

"Taking work home can be deadly," the Daily Mail warns. A small study of London-based office workers found those who reported being frequently troubled by work-related issues had patterns of heart activity associated with stress and anxiety…

Shift work and heavy lifting may make it harder to get pregnant

Wednesday Feb 8 2017

"Shift work and physically demanding jobs linked to lower fertility in women." Sky News reports. A US study found a link between both activities and a reduction in both the number and quality of a woman’s eggs…

Ibuprofen ‘barely better than placebo’ at treating back pain

Friday Feb 3 2017

"Widely used anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen have little more benefit than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain," reports the Guardian. This is based on a study looking at more than 6,000 people with back pain, comparing…

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