Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Have antibiotic changes upped heart infections?

Wednesday Nov 19 2014

Heart infections are on the rise - is NICE to blame?

"Rates of a deadly heart infection have increased after guidelines advised against giving antibiotics to prevent it in patients at risk," BBC News reports. But there is no evidence of a direct link between the two…

'Food environment' needs changing, doctors argue

Monday Nov 17 2014

Mediterranean diet 'best way' to treat obesity

"A Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting, leading doctors have said," BBC News reports. In a recently published editorial, they also argue the NHS should do more to encourage its staff to eat more healthily…

Fruit chemical may prevent organ damage

Thursday Nov 6 2014

Injections of fruit chemical repairs organ damage

"Could fruit help heart attack patients? Injection of chemical helps reduce damage to vital organs and boosts survival," reports the Daily Mail – "at least in rodents," it should have added…

Smoking increases risk of chronic back pain

Wednesday Nov 5 2014

Smoking 'increases risk of chronic back pain'

"Smokers are three times more likely to suffer from back pain," the Mail Online reports. The headline was prompted by the results of a recent study, which involved observing 68 people with sub-acute back pain…

Agave syrup no better than placebo cough remedy

Tuesday Oct 28 2014

Placebo as 'effective as syrup' in treating coughs

"Placebo cough treatment benefits children and their parents, study suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. A US study found that children’s reported cough symptoms improved even though they were just given a dummy treatment…

Smokers' homes 'as polluted as Beijing'

Tuesday Oct 21 2014

Living with a smoker 'as bad as living in Beijing'

"Living with smoker 'as bad as living in polluted city'," BBC News reports. Scottish researchers have estimated that the level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in smokers' households is similar to those found in a heavily polluted city such as Beijing…

Viagra could double up as heart failure drug

Monday Oct 20 2014

Viagra could 'double-up' as heart failure drug

"Sex pill Viagra could help men suffering from heart disease," reports the Mirror. This headline follows a new review into the potential heart benefits of the active ingredient in erectile dysfunction drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra)…

Fruit juice link to high blood pressure not proven

Monday Oct 13 2014

Daily diet of fruit juice 'may cause high blood pressure'

"Does drinking fruit juice give you high blood pressure?," the Mail Online asks, as an Australian study found people who reported a daily intake of fruit juice tended to have slightly higher blood pressure…

Study finds clue to why colds trigger asthma

Friday Oct 3 2014

Study reveals new clue into why colds trigger asthma attacks

The Mail Online reports how "a simple cold can set off a deadly asthma attack: Scientists discover chemical can send the immune system into overdrive". It is well known that in people with asthma…

Benefits of statins 'outweigh diabetes risk'

Wednesday Sep 24 2014

Statins increase weight and diabetes risk

“Statins increase risk of diabetes but benefits are still worth it, say experts,” The Guardian reports. A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk…

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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