Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

No evidence that plain cigarette packs work, says industry funded study

Wednesday Mar 26 2014

Plain packs don’t work, says industry funded study

"Unbranded cigarettes could mean people smoke more, experts warn," The Daily Telegraph reports. However, the evidence provided by the “experts” has not been peer reviewed and their work has been funded by cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris…

Could Botox be used to treat severe asthma

Tuesday Mar 25 2014

Botox – treatment option for severe asthma?

“Botox is commonly used to smooth out wrinkles, but new research suggests it could be used to help asthma sufferers,” the Mail Online reports. While early results seem encouraging, the research being reported on is still at proof of concept stage…

Saturated fats and heart disease link 'unproven'

Tuesday Mar 18 2014

Saturated fats heart disease link 'unproven'

“No link found between saturated fat and heart disease,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers have pooled the results of over 70 studies and say they have found no significant link between saturated fats and heart disease…

Statins side effects are minimal study argues

Thursday Mar 13 2014

Statins side effects are minimal study argues

"Cholesterol-lowering statins have almost no side effects," The Guardian reports. A new UK study argues that the majority of reported side effects are actually due to the nocebo effect; symptoms that are literally "all in the mind"…

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

Wednesday Mar 5 2014

Parental smoking 'ages' children’s arteries

'Passive smoking causes lasting damage to children's arteries, prematurely ageing their blood vessels by more than three years' BBC News reports. A Finnish study has found evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke damages children’s arteries…

Angry outbursts may up heart attack risk

Tuesday Mar 4 2014

Angry outbursts may up heart attack risk

'Having a hot temper may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to researchers' BBC News reports. US researchers found that people prone to attacks of range had a higher risk of a serious cardiovascular event…

Five-year 'death test' provides few answers

Wednesday Feb 26 2014

Five-year 'death test' provides few answers

A “death test” that supposedly predicts the chance of a healthy person dying in the next five years has been developed by scientists, The Daily Telegraph reports…

Flu jab may cut stroke risk by a quarter

Friday Feb 21 2014

Flu jab may cut stroke risk by a quarter

'People who have the seasonal flu jab care 24 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke' is the encouraging news in The Daily Telegraph. New research appears to suggest that flu makes people more vulnerable to stroke risk factors…

'Boris bikes' may be good for your health

Friday Feb 14 2014

'Boris bikes' may be good for your health

"London's cycle hire scheme has had a positive effect on the health of its users," BBC News reports. So-called "Boris bikes" (named for the "colourful" Mayor of London, Boris Johnson) have led to improvements in both physical and mental health…

Roll-ups 'as hazardous as factory made cigarettes'

Wednesday Feb 12 2014

Roll-ups just as bad as factory-made cigarettes

“Rollies vs Straights: Roll-your-own ‘at least as hazardous as any other type of cigarette’,” reports The Independent. “Roll-ups” (cigarettes made using rolling tobacco and paper), have been associated with poverty…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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