Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Binge drinking could trigger abnormal heart rhythms

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"Why Oktoberfest could be damaging your heart" is the somewhat strange headline in The Times. Researchers who attended the annual Bavarian beer and folk festival found binge drinkers were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythm patterns…

Regular exercise for the over-50s 'sharpens the mind'

Wednesday Apr 26 2017

"Doing moderate exercise several times a week is the best way to keep the mind sharp if you're over 50," BBC News reports. A review of existing data found both aerobic exercise and strength training appeared to improve cognitive functions…

Children with regular bedtimes 'less likely to become obese'

Monday Apr 24 2017

"Regular bedtimes make children less likely to be obese as adults," is the slightly misleading Mail Online headline. This follows a study looking at the link between household routines in early childhood and obesity at age 11...

Cycling commuters have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work," BBC News advises, prompted by a new study that found UK commuters who cycled to work had lower rates of cancer and heart disease…

Could your tattoos put you at risk of heat stroke?

Thursday Apr 13 2017

"Do you have a tattoo? You may be at-risk of heat stroke as inked skin produces significantly less sweat than normal," the Mail Online reports. A small US study, involving 10 men, found tattooed skin produced less sweat…

Loneliness may make cold symptoms feel worse

Friday Mar 31 2017

"Colds feel worse to lonely people," The Guardian reports. A US study, where participants were infected with the cold virus, found people who said they felt lonely also reported more severe symptoms…

Electromagnetic fields link to motor neurone disease 'weak'

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"Workers exposed to electromagnetic fields in their jobs could be at risk of developing motor neurone disease," the Daily Mail reports. A Dutch study found a link between occupational exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields and increased…

Moderate drinking may reduce heart disease risk

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"A daily pint or glass of wine can slash the chances of a suffering heart attack by a third," reports The Sun. Researchers found that people who drank alcohol within moderate drinking guidelines were less likely to have a first episode…

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks 'may be a risky cocktail'

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could be a risky combination, leading to a greater risk of accidents and injuries," BBC News report. A review of evidence found a number of potential risks, but the picture was not as clear-cut as reported…

Children's screen time linked to diabetes risk factors

Tuesday Mar 14 2017

"Children who are allowed more than three hours of screentime a day are at greater risk of developing diabetes," The Guardian reports. In a new study, UK researchers found a link between three hours or more of screen time and risk factors…

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