Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Little proof sunbathing cuts heart attack risk

Tuesday Jan 21 2014

Scant evidence sunbathing cuts heart attack risks

"Sunbathing 'can cut risk of heart attacks and strokes'," reports the Metro – but there is little hard evidence to back the claim. New research has tried to explain previous observations that blood pressure is lower in the summer than in the winter in…

Women who spend too long sitting may die earlier

Friday Jan 17 2014

Women who spend too long sitting may die earlier

“Why sitting for too long can be deadly for older women... even if they go to the gym,” reports the Mail Online. The study this news is based on found an association between sedentary behaviour…

UK gout rates rise 30%

Thursday Jan 16 2014

Sharp rise in UK gout rates

“Britain is the gout capital of Europe with one in 40 people affected by the condition,” the Daily Mirror reports. Gout is a particularly painful form of arthritis, though unlike many other types, its underlying causes can be treated…

Medical 'superglue' shows promise for heart surgery

Thursday Jan 9 2014

Medical 'superglue' shows promise for heart surgery

"A medical superglue has been developed that has the potential to patch heart defects on the operating table," BBC News reports. The glue has currently only be used in animals, but the results are encouraging…

US experts say high blood pressure is overtreated

Friday Dec 20 2013

Should fewer people be treated for high blood pressure?

"Your blood pressure might not be as high as you think: Doctors say some older people may not need medication," the Mail Online says, reporting on new US guidance for doctors on when to prescribe blood pressure tablets...

Stroke risk 'higher at start of warfarin treatment'

Thursday Dec 19 2013

Warfarin pills can thin the blood and help prevent strokes

"Warfarin doubles risk of stroke in first week for irregular heartbeat sufferers," reports The Daily Telegraph. Warfarin is a drug known to reduce the risk of stroke...

Study finds vitamin pills have 'limited benefit'

Wednesday Dec 18 2013

Do vitamins do us any good at all?

"Vitamins are a waste of money," reports The Daily Telegraph, while the Daily Mail tells us that multi-vitamins "do nothing to protect us from illness"...

'Safe' levels of air pollution could still be harmful

Monday Dec 9 2013

'Safe' levels of air pollution could still be harmful

“EU air quality rules are still too lax to protect us from pollution,” The Independent reports. It says that air quality regulations may not be sufficient to protect people from harmful sooty particles in traffic and factory fumes…

'20 classrooms of kids' a day take up smoking

Thursday Dec 5 2013

'20 classrooms of kids' a day take up smoking

"The equivalent of 20 classrooms-full of children take up smoking every day in the UK," reports The Independent. This disturbing headline comes from estimates of the number of children between the ages of 11 and 15 who start smoking each day…

Heart's strain rate may be raised by energy drinks

Monday Dec 2 2013

Energy drinks may make heart beat harder

Caffeine energy drinks “intensify heart contractions,” BBC News reports. The news is based on a small study of 18 healthy adults who had heart scans taken before and one hour after drinking an energy drink containing caffeine and taurine…

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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