Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

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…

Diabetes drug linked to increased bladder cancer risk

Thursday Mar 31 2016

"The anti-diabetic drug pioglitazone raises the risk of bladder cancer by 63 per cent," The Daily Telegraph reports. While the actual risk increase in real-world terms is small, the results may help inform prescription decisions…

Paracetamol 'useless' in treating osteoarthritis pain

Friday Mar 18 2016

"Paracetamol is next to useless at alleviating arthritic pain," The Times reports. A comprehensive review of existing data suggests paracetamol should not be used in cases of osteoarthritis…

Common antibiotic for children 'ineffective in half of cases'

Wednesday Mar 16 2016

"Antibiotics used to treat common infections in children could soon be rendered useless," the Daily Mail reports. A major review of existing data found worryingly high levels of resistance to widely used antibiotics such as ampicillin…

Link between indigestion drugs and dementia 'inconclusive'

Tuesday Feb 16 2016

"Indigestion pills taken by millions 'could raise the risk of dementia by 50%'," the Daily Mail reports. A German study found a link between the proton pump inhibitor class of drugs and an increased risk of dementia in the elderly…

Alzheimer's disease 'wonder drug' claims are premature

Monday Feb 15 2016

"Millions could be offered wonder drug to prevent Alzheimer's before symptoms appear," is the overhyped headline in the Daily Express. The "wonder drug" bexarotene has only been tested in worms as part of this latest Alzheimer's research…

Iron tablets may damage DNA

Friday Feb 12 2016

"Iron tablets taken by millions of people could damage the body within just 10 minutes," the Mail Online reports; somewhat over-dramatically. A study looking at cell samples in a lab, and not actual humans, did find some evidence of damage to DNA…

Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma…

Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

Friday Feb 5 2016

"Statins could be miracle cure for blindness," reports the Express, following a new study into dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults...

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...

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