Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Flu jab linked with lower risk of heart attack

Thursday Aug 22 2013

Flu jab may protect middle aged against heart attack

The NHS has been told to “give over-50s a winter flu jab to cut deaths from heart attack”, the Daily Express reports. This headline, and many similar, is based on a recent study of the association between having the flu…

Singing exercises may help control snoring

Monday Aug 19 2013

Signing exercises may help stop snores

"Could singing stop snoring? Doctor says vocal exercises could be the key to a peaceful night's sleep," the Mail Online website reports after a study found that people who followed a daily exercise programme of singing saw improvements in their snoring…

Can excess coffee intake lead to an 'early grave'?

Friday Aug 16 2013

Does drinking lots of coffee lead to an 'early grave'?

"More than four cups of coffee a day increases the risk of an early death," The Daily Telegraph warns, as a new study finds as association between heavy coffee consumption and early death in young and middle-aged adults…

'Death test' claims hyped

Monday Aug 12 2013

Could a 'death watch' predict life expectancy?

The Sunday Times has sparked a UK media frenzy by featuring a front page report claiming that scientists are creating a device that can "tell people how long they have left to live" The Daily Mail has suggested that the "wristwatch-style device"…

Camels may be source of MERS virus transmission

Friday Aug 9 2013

Camels linked to MERS virus

Various news sources today report that dromedary camels – "ships of the desert" as The Independent puts it – could be the source of the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus that emerged last year. MERS is believed...

George W Bush undergoes heart stent operation

Wednesday Aug 7 2013

George Bush has heart stent operation

Many newspapers and news websites are reporting on the news that former US president, George W Bush, has had a stent implanted in his coronary artery in order to improve the blood supply to his heart…

No 'cheap cure' for high blood pressure

Monday Aug 5 2013

Rash claims of 'cheap cure' for high blood pressure

"A cheap, simple blood test could save thousands from life-threatening blood pressure," reports the Mail Online. The study it reports provides new insights into blood pressure but there is no evidence that this will lead to cheaper testing…

Heart disease risk higher in men who skip breakfast

Tuesday Jul 23 2013

Skipping breakfast ups heart disease risk

"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," reports the Daily Mail, claiming that "skipping it increases your chances of a heart attack." The news comes from a 16-year study of a large group of middle-aged and older male American…

Does plain packaging help smokers quit?

Tuesday Jul 23 2013

Does plain packaging help smokers quit?

'Research among 500 Australian smokers has shown that smokers find cigarettes in plain packs less appealing' The Independent reports. The findings are likely to lead to more debate about whether plain packaging laws should also be introduced in England…

Air pollution linked to lung cancer and heart failure

Wednesday Jul 10 2013

Air pollution link to lung cancer and heart disease

Air pollution, chiefly from traffic exhaust fumes in cities, is having a serious and sometimes fatal effect on health, The Guardian reports. This follows the publication of two studies in The Lancet…

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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