Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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….

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

"Becoming a pescetarian can protect against bowel cancer, new research suggests," the Mail Online reports. The US study found people who mainly eat fish and vegetables, and small quantities of meat, had a significantly reduced risk of bowel cancer…

Is education the best form of teen contraception?

Monday Mar 9 2015

Is education the best form of teen contraception?

"Getting a good education could be the best form of contraception for teenagers," The Independent reports after a study of recent data from England found an association between improved GCSE results and lower rates of teenage pregnancy…

How alcohol intake can change over a lifetime

Monday Mar 9 2015

How alcohol intake can change over a lifetime

"Binge drinking peaks at 25 … but by middle age he's drinking daily," the Mail Online reports. In what has been described as the first of its kind, a new study has tried to track the average adult drinking pattern over the course of a lifespan…

Being optimistic after heart attack may help with recovery

Friday Mar 6 2015

Being optimistic after heart attack may help with recovery

"It's true! Optimists do live longer," is the slightly misleading headline from the Mail Online. The study it reports on actually looked at the effects of optimism on physical and emotional health in 369 people recovering from a heart attack…

Does a wife's illness lead to divorce?

Friday Mar 6 2015

Not in sickness, only in health – does a wife's illness lead to divorce?

"Husbands more likely than wives to seek divorce when partner falls sick, says study," the Daily Mail reports after a US study tracked around 2,700 married older couples for 20 years to see how chronic illness…

No proof 'alcohol will make you more gorgeous'

Thursday Mar 5 2015

No proof 'alcohol will make you more gorgeous'

"How having just the one drink can make you look more gorgeous, according to science," The Independent reports. But the "science" turns out to be an experiment carried out under highly artificial conditions…

People with gout have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Thursday Mar 5 2015

People with gout have lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

"Gout could help prevent Alzheimer's, research shows," The Independent reports. Researchers think that uric acid, which causes gout, may have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease…

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…

Adults may only get 'real flu' every five years

Wednesday Mar 4 2015

Adults may only get 'real flu' every five years

"Average adult catches virus just once every five years," the Daily Mail reports. A study has estimated that influenza infections become less frequent with age and occur every five years from the age of 30…

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

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...