Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Genetic high cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

High cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

"High cholesterol LOWERS the risk of diabetes," is the Daily Mail's rather misleading headline, going on to say that, "New study reveals why taking statins may be harmful"…

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

'Women on HRT pills should be aware that there is a small chance of an increased risk of blood clots and possibly stroke' BBC News report. A major review, involving over 40,000 patient records, found an increase in risk of clotting….

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

Wednesday Mar 4 2015

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

"Patients with the highest genetic risk of suffering a heart attack benefit the most from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, a study has found," The Guardian reports. Those with the highest genetic risk score appear to get the most benefit from the drugs…

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

Tuesday Mar 3 2015

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

"Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death," the Mail Online reports. A new review of previous data found that long-term use was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events, such as heart attack…

Does deadly diet drug DNP defeat diabetes?

Friday Feb 27 2015

Banned weight-loss drug DNP could treat diabetes

"A chemical [DNP] which caused munitions factory workers to lose weight inexplicably in the First World War could cure diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. The banned weight loss drug looked effective and safe when given in a modified form to rats…

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 86%

Wednesday Feb 25 2015

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 87%

"Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%," The Independent reports. The drug, Truvada, has proved very successful in a "real-world" trial…

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

Friday Feb 20 2015

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

"New HPV vaccine stops 90% of cervical cancers," the Mail Online reports. The vaccine, which protects against nine common strains of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), has proved both safe and effective in a study involving 14,000 women…

Nanoparticles used to treat damaged arteries

Thursday Feb 19 2015

'Nano drones' used to repair damaged arteries

"New trials suggest microscopic stealth drones could be used to seek and repair damaged arteries," The Daily Telegraph, somewhat overexcitedly, reports. A study in mice has found promising results for a targeted treatment…

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

Friday Feb 13 2015

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

"Hormone replacement therapy increases ovarian cancer risk," BBC News reports. An analysis of previous data, published in The Lancet, found a statistically significant increase, though the increase in risk for individual women is very small…

Media dementia scare over hay fever and sleep drugs

Tuesday Jan 27 2015

Not all antihistamines are the same

"Hay fever tablets raise risk of Alzheimer's," is the main front page news in the Daily Mirror. The Guardian mentions popular brand names such as Nytol, Benadryl, Ditropan and Piriton among the pills studied...

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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