Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

Thursday Oct 20 2016

"Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels…

Blood pressure drop on standing 'may be linked to dementia'

Wednesday Oct 12 2016

"Have you ever felt dizzy when you stand up?" asks the Mail Online. "You could be more at risk of dementia," the website warns. Researchers in Holland found a weak link between blood pressure drops on standing…

Ibuprofen-like painkillers linked to an increased risk of heart failure

Thursday Sep 29 2016

"Ibuprofen could raise the risk of heart failure by up to 83%," claims the Daily Mirror. But this headline massively overstates the danger of this painkiller. In fact, new research suggests that taking painkillers...

Contraceptive pills not proven to protect against the flu

Monday Sep 19 2016

"How taking the pill could protect you from the flu," was the curious headline on a recent Mail Online article. The equally curious animal study involved female mice who had their ovaries surgically removed…

E-cigarettes 'help thousands successfully quit smoking'

Wednesday Sep 14 2016

"The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes in the UK may have resulted in more successful attempts to quit smoking," BBC News reports. A UK study looking at survey data from England over the past 10 years showed…

Statins are 'safe, effective and should be used more widely'

Friday Sep 9 2016

"The benefits of statins are hugely underestimated and far outweigh any harm," the Daily Mail reports. A major review also argues that the risks of statins have been exaggerated by both the media and some sections of the medical profession…

Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

Thursday Sep 8 2016

"Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports. A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol…

Vitamin D 'protects against severe asthma attacks'

Tuesday Sep 6 2016

"Vitamin D supplements could halve risk of serious asthma attacks," The Guardian reports. A review of previous data found that vitamin D supplements could have a protective effect against serious asthma attacks when taken alongside...

One in three heart attack cases 'misdiagnosed'

Tuesday Aug 30 2016

BBC News reports a "third [of people] given wrong initial heart attack diagnosis", while The Sun makes the totally unsupported claim that "Doctors miss heart attacks in women 'because they expect victims to be fat, middle-aged men'."…

UK heart disease and stroke death rates now lower than cancer

Monday Aug 15 2016

"Heart disease deaths now lower than cancer – but obesity crisis means this may not last," the Daily Mirror reports. A major review of European trends in cardiovascular disease deaths found that UK cancer deaths overtook cardiovascular deaths in 2014…

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...

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