Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Statin use may be widening health inequalities in England

Friday Jan 23 2015

Use of statins may be widening health inequalities

'Mass prescription of statins ‘will widen social inequalities’' The Independent report. A UK analysis of heart disease deaths from 2000 to 2007 found that statins were far more effective for the richest 20% of the population compared to the poorest 20%...

Angry Twitter communities linked to heart deaths

Friday Jan 23 2015

Angry Twitter communities linked to heart deaths

"Angry tweeting 'could increase your risk of heart disease','' is the poorly reported headline in The Daily Telegraph. The study it reports on found there is a link between angry tweets and levels of heart disease deaths…

New heart attack test shows promise for women

Thursday Jan 22 2015

New heart attack test shows promise for women

"Doctors could spot twice as many heart attacks in women by using a newer, more sensitive blood test," BBC News reports. In women, for reasons that are unclear, a heart attack often doesn't trigger the symptom most people associate with the condition…

Claims that 'men worsen labour pains' are unproven

Thursday Jan 22 2015

Claims that its 'official' men worsen labour pains are unproven

"It’s official: men really shouldn’t be at the birth," is the bizarre headline in The Times, as it reports on a pain study on women who were not even pregnant, let alone giving birth…

Nordic IVF outcomes improving - is the same true for the UK?

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

Scandinavian IVF outcomes improving - same true for UK?

"The health of artificially conceived children has steadily improved in the last 20 years," The Guardian reports. Researchers who analysed data from Nordic countries described the decline in premature and stillbirths as "remarkable"…

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

'Social jet lag' linked to obesity and 'unhealthy' metabolism

"Social jet lag is driving obesity" is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph. A new study only found a link between "social jet leg", obesity and metabolic markers that may indicate a person has an increased risk of obesity-related diseases…

Becoming healthier may motivate your partner to join in

Tuesday Jan 20 2015

Becoming healthier may motivate your partner to join in

“Fitness 'rubs off on your partner’,'' BBC News reports. This headline is based on a study of more than 3,000 married couples aged 50 and over in the UK, where at least one of the partners smoked, was inactive or was overweight or obese…

Does moderate drinking reduce heart failure risk?

Tuesday Jan 20 2015

Seven (US) alcohol units a week 'reduces heart failure risk'

"Seven alcoholic drinks a week can help to prevent heart disease," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study suggests alcohol consumption up to this level may have a protective effect against heart failure…

Shell shock remains 'unsolved'

Monday Jan 19 2015

Researchers looked at how shellshock affects the brain

The Mail Online tells us shell shock has been "solved" after scientists claimed they have pinpointed the brain injury that causes pain, anxiety and breakdowns in soldiers…

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

Monday Jan 19 2015

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

"Rapid progress in genetics is making 'designer babies' more likely and society needs to be prepared," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by advances in "DNA editing", which may eventually lead to genetically modified babies…

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...