Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Study finds care home residents 'more likely' to be dehydrated

Friday Jan 16 2015

Study finds care home residents 'more likely' to be dehydrated

"Care home residents five times more likely to be left thirsty," The Independent reports after an analysis of some London hospital admission records found people admitted from care homes were five times more likely to be dehydrated…

Wearing killer high heels could lead to osteoarthritis, study warns

Friday Jan 16 2015

Wearing killer high heels could lead to osteoarthritis, study warns

"Killer heels could lead to osteoarthritis in knees," The Daily Telegraph reports. An analysis of the walking patterns of 14 women found evidence that walking in high heels puts the knees under additional strain, which could damage cartilage…

Inactivity 'twice as deadly' as obesity

Thursday Jan 15 2015

Inactivity 'twice as deadly' as obesity

“Lack of exercise is twice as deadly as obesity,” The Daily Telegraph reports. The headline is prompted by a Europe-wide study on obesity, exercise and health outcomes...

'Hibernation protein' could help repair dementia damage

Thursday Jan 15 2015

'Hibernation protein' could help repair dementia damage

"Neurodegenerative diseases have been halted by harnessing the regenerative power of hibernation," BBC News reports. Researchers have identified a protein used by animals…

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...