Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Contaminated air' on planes linked to health problems

Wednesday Jun 21 2017

"Toxic fumes in aircraft cabins could cause serious health problems, scientists warn:" reports The Sun. This is based on a UK study investigating air contamination on aircraft and its possible effects on the health of pilots and cabin crew…

Cholesterol-lowering jab 'shows promise' for heart disease

Tuesday Jun 20 2017

"Cholesterol-lowering jab to help prevent heart disease," reports BBC Online. The headline refers to a recent mouse study that aimed to see whether a new vaccine could reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease…

Is a new flu pandemic just three mutations away?

Friday Jun 16 2017

"Just three mutations are needed to make bird flu a potential pandemic strain that could kill millions," is the alarming headline from the Mail Online. However, the chance of all three mutations occurring has been described as "relatively low"…

Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports

Tuesday May 30 2017

"Many patients given beta blockers after a heart attack may not benefit from being on the drugs, suggesting they may be being overprescribed," The Guardian reports. Beta-blockers are drugs used to regulate the heart by making it beat…

Fitness trackers' calorie measurements are prone to error

Friday May 26 2017

"Fitness trackers out of step when measuring calories, research shows," The Guardian reports. An independent analysis of a number of leading brands found they were all prone to inaccurate recording of energy expenditure…

'Chocolate good for the heart' claims sadly too good to be true

Wednesday May 24 2017

"Regularly tucking into a bar of chocolate may actually be good for us," reports the Mail Online. Researchers in Denmark say people who eat chocolate one to six times a week are less likely to get a heart condition called atrial fibrillation…

Ibuprofen linked to increased risk of heart attacks

Wednesday May 10 2017

"Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The report is based on a new analysis that found a link between anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and heart attack risk…

Review finds no link between dairy and heart attack or stroke risk

Tuesday May 9 2017

"Eating cheese does not raise risk of heart attack or stroke," reports The Guardian. This follows a large review pooling the results of 29 observational studies into the link between dairy consumption and cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease…

Low-gluten diet linked to heart attack risk

Thursday May 4 2017

"Gluten-free diet can do more harm than good for people without coeliac disease," The Independent reports, as a new study found that the "trendy gluten-free diets loved by Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Crowe may increase the risk of heart disease…

Statins side effects 'have been overstated', says study

Wednesday May 3 2017

"Side effects from statins 'really are all in the mind'," The Times reports. A new study found people taking statins were more likely to report side effects, such as muscle aches, but only if they knew they were taking the drug...

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