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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

New heart attack test shows promise for women

Thursday Jan 22 2015

New heart attack test shows promise for women

"Doctors could spot twice as many heart attacks in women by using a newer, more sensitive blood test," BBC News reports. In women, for reasons that are unclear, a heart attack often doesn't trigger the symptom most people associate with the condition…

Does moderate drinking reduce heart failure risk?

Tuesday Jan 20 2015

Seven (US) alcohol units a week 'reduces heart failure risk'

"Seven alcoholic drinks a week can help to prevent heart disease," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study suggests alcohol consumption up to this level may have a protective effect against heart failure…

Could brain protein help people 'sleep off' the flu?

Tuesday Jan 13 2015

Brain protein may help people 'sleep off' the flu

"Scientists…believe that a nasal spray could be produced which boosts a protein so sufferers could sleep off the flu," The Daily Telegraph reports. As yet, the research has been confined to assessing the role of one protein in mice...

Blood test may tell you the best way to quit smoking

Monday Jan 12 2015

Blood test may tell you the best way to quit smoking

"A blood test could help people choose a stop-smoking strategy that would give them the best chance of quitting," BBC News reports. The test measures how quickly an individual breaks down nicotine inside their body…

Can eating like a Viking 'reduce obesity risks'?

Thursday Jan 8 2015

'Eat like a Viking' advice for the obese

"A Nordic diet could reduce the dangers of being overweight, a study suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. The headline comes from the results of a small randomised controlled trial…

Wholegrains, not just porridge, may increase life

Tuesday Jan 6 2015

Claims 'porridge prolongs life' are inaccurate

"The key to a long and healthy life? A bowl of porridge every day," is the somewhat inaccurate headline in the Daily Mail. The study it reports on was looking at the health benefits of wholegrains in general, not just porridge…

Why common cold may thrive at low temperatures

Tuesday Jan 6 2015

The common cold may thrive in colder noses

"Keeping your nose warm may be the secret to avoiding [a cold]," the Mail Online reports. Results suggest that a colder temperature may reduce immune function inside the nasal cavity, allowing cold viruses to spread…

E-cigarettes could help some smokers quit

Wednesday Dec 17 2014

E-cigarettes could help some smokers quit

"E-cigarettes can help smokers quit or cut down heavily," The Guardian reports. An international review of the evidence, carried out by the well-respected Cochrane Collaboration, found evidence that they can help some smokers quit…

Feeling 'young at heart' may increase lifespan

Tuesday Dec 16 2014

Feeling 'young at heart' may increase lifespan

"Feeling young at heart wards off death, scientists find," The Daily Telegraph reports. A UK study found that people who reported feeling younger than their actual age were less likely to die than those who reported feeling their actual age or older…

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

Tuesday Dec 16 2014

Yoga may help protect against heart disease

“Yoga could be as effective as cycling or brisk walks in reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reports. Researchers have pooled the results of previous studies and reports finding 'promising evidence'…

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