Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Heart failure drug could 'cut deaths by a fifth'

Monday Sep 1 2014

Heart failure drug will 'cut deaths by a fifth'

“A new drug believed to cause a 20 per cent reduction in heart failure deaths could present a 'major advance' in treatment,” The Independent reports. The drug, LCZ696, helps improve blood flow in heart failure patients…

Students showing signs of phone addiction

Monday Sep 1 2014

Students showing signs of smartphone addiction

“Students spend up to 10 hours a day on their mobile phones,” the Mail Online reports. The results of a US study suggest that some young people have developed an addiction to their phone…

Study finds plain cigarette pack fears 'unfounded'

Friday Aug 29 2014

Plain packs don't lead to 'unintended consequences'

"Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded," reports The Guardian. After Australia introduced plain packaging laws in 2012, opponents of the legislation argued it would lead to a number of unintended consequences…

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

Friday Aug 29 2014

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

“Magnetic brain stimulation treatment shown to boost memory,” The Guardian reports. A new study found that magnetic pulses improved recall skills in healthy individuals. It is hoped that the findings of this study…

Tomato rich diet 'reduces prostate cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 28 2014

Tomato rich diet reduces prostate cancer risk

“Tomatoes ‘cut risk of prostate cancer by 20%’,” the Daily Mail reports, citing a study that found men who ate 10 or more portions a week had a reduced risk of the disease. The study in question gathered a year’s dietary information…

Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

Thursday Aug 28 2014

Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

"Depression therapy could help cancer patients fight illness," reports The Daily Telegraph. A UK study surveying people with cancer and depression has found that depression therapy can alleviate cancer-related symptoms...

Does weight loss surgery affect dementia risk?

Wednesday Aug 27 2014

Weight loss surgery 'may protect against Alzheimer's'

"Weight loss surgery 'reduces chance of Alzheimer's disease'," reports The Daily Telegraph. This misleading headline reports on a small Brazilian study of severely obese women before and after weight loss surgery. None of the women had any signs…

Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

Wednesday Aug 27 2014

Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

'Pregnant women who take anti-depressants 'could raise their child's risk of ADHD’' the Daily Mail reports. Researchers found that women who used the drugs in pregnancy had an increase risk of having a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…

Common bacteria could help prevent food allergies

Tuesday Aug 26 2014

Common bacteria could help prevent food allergies

"Bacteria which naturally live inside our digestive system can help prevent allergies and may become a source of treatment," BBC News reports after new research found evidence that Clostridia bacterium helps prevent peanut allergies in mice…

Breakfast 'not the most important meal of the day'

Tuesday Aug 26 2014

Breakfast 'not the most important meal of the day'

"Breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day after all,” the Mail Online reports.The concept that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is up there in the pantheon of received wisdom…

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...