Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Coffee can 'cut risks of heart attack' claims

Tuesday Mar 3 2015

Coffee can 'clean arteries' and may prevent heart attacks

"Three coffees a day cuts the risk of heart disease and strokes," the Daily Mirror reports. A large study of 25,000 adults from South Korea has found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee per day were less likely…

Immune changes found in people with CFS/ME

Monday Mar 2 2015

CFS/ME can cause excessive and debilitating tiredness

"Distinct stages to chronic fatigue syndrome identified," reports BBC News online. People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sometimes called myalgic encephalopathy (ME), can have debilitating exhaustion...

MS stem cell treatment only a 'miracle' for some

Monday Mar 2 2015

Stem cell therapies are still at the cutting edge of medical science

The Daily Telegraph reports a "miracle" stem cell therapy that reverses multiple sclerosis, and which according to The Sunday Times gets "wheelchair-bound" people dancing...

Healthy older adults carry leukaemia mutations

Friday Feb 27 2015

Healthy older adult carry leukaemia mutations

"DNA develops to acquire genetic mutations linked with cancer as you get older," The Independent reports. A study of samples of blood cells found that DNA in older people began to acquire mutations associated with leukaemia…

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…

Over two hours screen time a day may raise a child’s blood pressure

Thursday Feb 26 2015

Over two hours screen time a day ups a child’s blood pressure

"Watching TV for more than two hours a day increases the risk of raised blood pressure in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A large study, involving more than 5,000 children who were followed up over two years…

Longer sleep linked to stroke

Thursday Feb 26 2015

 Persistent long sleep may be stroke warning sign

"People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke," The Independent reports. After pooling data from previous research, researchers estimate that people who regularly sleep more than eight hours a day have a 46% higher risk…

'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…

Depression linked to violent crime

Wednesday Feb 25 2015

Depression linked to violent crime

"Depressed people are three times more likely to commit a violent crime," the Daily Mirror reports. Research into Swedish crime and medical data found that depression was linked with an increased risk of a person committing a violent crime…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...