Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Reduced antibiotic prescribing did not raise serious infections rates

Thursday Jul 7 2016

"Surgeries that handed out the fewest pills do not have higher rates of serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports. A new study looked at the impact of prescribing patterns of antibiotics by GPs. The researchers were particularly interested in…

Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

Monday Jul 4 2016

"Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition…

Heart attacks linked to media statin reports ... reports media

Wednesday Jun 29 2016

"Don't give up your statins: Experts say warnings that made patients stop taking vital drug have put lives at risk," the Daily Mail reports. This was the same newspaper that told us two weeks ago that "statins may be a waste of time"…

Study suggests that inflammation is behind period pain

Thursday Jun 23 2016

"Scientists have finally discovered why periods hurt so much, following a ground breaking study into menstrual pain," The Independent reports. A new study suggests that the pain is caused by acute inflammation, as measured by the C-reactive protein...

Drugs, ginger and acupuncture 'best for morning sickness'

Wednesday Jun 22 2016

"Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease their symptoms," the Daily Mirror reports. The recommendation comes from a set of new guidelines that also say ginger…

Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

Tuesday Jun 21 2016

"Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain…

Cranberry juice 'useful' for women with recurring UTIs, claims study

Monday Jun 20 2016

"Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics," is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary tract infections…

Depression blood test could lead to personalised treatments

Tuesday Jun 7 2016

"UK scientists have developed a blood test to help doctors pick the best drug for patients with depression," BBC News reports, somewhat prematurely. It is currently unproven whether such a test, based on measuring inflammation…

Ten years of hormone breast cancer drugs 'may benefit some'

Monday Jun 6 2016

"Taking hormonal drugs for up to 15 years reduces the risk of breast cancers coming back," BBC News reports. A new study looked at 1,918 postmenopausal women with what is known as oestrogen receptor-positive (or ER+) breast cancers…

Research raises hope of a 'Holy Grail' universal cancer vaccine

Thursday Jun 2 2016

"'Universal cancer vaccine' breakthrough claimed by experts," The Independent reports. Researchers extracted genetic code called RNA from cancer cells, embedded them in nanoparticles to make them appear…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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