Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

Tuesday Mar 3 2015

Is long-term paracetamol use not as safe as we thought?

"Daily paracetamol could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death," the Mail Online reports. A new review of previous data found that long-term use was linked with a small increased risk of adverse events, such as heart attack…

Coffee can 'cut risks of heart attack' claims

Tuesday Mar 3 2015

Coffee can 'clean arteries' and may prevent heart attacks

"Three coffees a day cuts the risk of heart disease and strokes," the Daily Mirror reports. A large study of 25,000 adults from South Korea has found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee per day were less likely…

Over two hours screen time a day may raise a child’s blood pressure

Thursday Feb 26 2015

Over two hours screen time a day ups a child’s blood pressure

"Watching TV for more than two hours a day increases the risk of raised blood pressure in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A large study, involving more than 5,000 children who were followed up over two years…

Anger possibly linked with non-fatal heart attacks

Tuesday Feb 24 2015

There are lots of benefits to trying to remain calm

"'Plate-throwing rage' raises heart attack risk nearly 10 fold," The Daily Telegraph reports, slightly inaccurately. This headline reports on a study that found that just seven out of 313 people had felt "very angry"...

Nanoparticles used to treat damaged arteries

Thursday Feb 19 2015

'Nano drones' used to repair damaged arteries

"New trials suggest microscopic stealth drones could be used to seek and repair damaged arteries," The Daily Telegraph, somewhat overexcitedly, reports. A study in mice has found promising results for a targeted treatment…

Plain packaging 'may help smokers to cut down'

Tuesday Feb 17 2015

Plain packaging 'may help smokers smoke less'

"Plain packaging reduced unconscious triggers to smoke," BBC News reports. This claim is based on two related experiments where smokers were either exposed to a picture of a branded pack of cigarettes, a picture of a plain pack...

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

"Butter isn't bad for you after all: Major study says 80s advice on dairy fats was flawed," is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail as a new study argues dietary fat guidelines introduced in the 1980s lacked a rigorous evidence base…

Flu jab is not a 'waste of time'

Friday Feb 6 2015

Flu jab is not a 'waste of time'

“Flu jab given to millions is 'useless',” and "Flu jab is a waste of time," are the irresponsible headlines in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail…

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

Thursday Feb 5 2015

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

"Vaping may not be as safe as smokers think, research suggests," The Guardian reports. New research found that mice exposed to e-cig vapours comparable to a typical human level experienced mild lung damage and a reduced immune response to infection…

Flu and freezing weather may be driving up winter death rates

Wednesday Feb 4 2015

Flu and freezing weather have impacted death rates

"The current death rate in England and Wales is running about one-third higher than its normal rate for this time of year," BBC News reports. A combination of flu and very cold weather may be responsible…

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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