Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Active and secondhand smoking both linked to early menopause

Wednesday Dec 16 2015

"Women who are heavy or habitual smokers are more likely to experience the menopause earlier [before the age of 50], a study suggests," BBC News reports. The same study found a weaker link for women exposed to secondhand smoke…

Is paracetamol any good for treating flu?

Monday Dec 14 2015

"Paracetamol will not ease the symptoms of flu, according to a study by doctors in New Zealand," The Times reports. A small study suggests the widely used painkiller does not help combat the overall effects of infection...

Flavouring found in e-cigarettes linked to 'popcorn lung'

Tuesday Dec 8 2015

"Smokers who use e-cigs 'are risking harm to their lungs'," the Daily Mail reports after US researchers discovered some brands contained diacetyl, a buttery flavouring linked to lung disease in people who worked in microwave popcorn factories…

Coffee 'can make you live longer' claims

Wednesday Nov 18 2015

"Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day could help people live longer, new research has found," The Independent reports. Research suggests a link between regular coffee consumption and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease…

Will a cholesterol-busting vaccine work for humans?

Thursday Nov 12 2015

"Could a vaccine replace the need for daily statins?" asks the Mail Online. An experimental vaccine has been found to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in a small number of mice and macaque monkeys, but has not yet been tested in humans...

Sugary drinks linked to increased heart failure risk in men

Wednesday Nov 4 2015

"Just two sweetened drinks a day can dramatically raise heart risk," The Sun reports. A Swedish study found that men who consumed two or more sugary drinks a day had, on average, a 23% increase in the risk of heart failure…

Growing up with a dog 'reduces childhood asthma risk'

Tuesday Nov 3 2015

"Children who grow up with a pet dog in the family home have a lower risk of developing asthma," The Times reports. A large Swedish study found an association between pet ownership and reduced risk of asthma…

Genetic variation 'reduces risk of heart disease in women'

Thursday Oct 22 2015

"Scientists have identified a gene that puts women at higher risk of heart disease, an early study suggests," BBC News incorrectly reports. But the study in question has not found a new gene...

Living near an airport 'may be bad for your health'

Wednesday Oct 21 2015

"People who live within six miles [of an airport] have higher levels of asthma and heart problems," the Daily Mail reports after a US study has suggested exposure to carbon monoxide from planes may impact on…

Does surfing the internet raise your blood pressure?

Thursday Oct 8 2015

"American researchers discovered a link between internet use and high blood pressure [in teens]," The Independent reports. But the study did not actually find heavy internet use was associated with high blood pressure...

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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