Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Hair loss drugs linked with erectile dysfunction

Monday Mar 13 2017

"Men who take this drug [finasteride] to combat baldness are 'five times more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction'," The Sun reports. While this may sound hair-raising, the actual evidence the paper is reporting on is not a major cause for concern…

Substance found in red wine 'helps fight ageing'

Wednesday Mar 8 2017

“Red wine can ‘help fight the ageing process’ – but how much would you have to drink?,” is the question posed by The Sun, after a US study suggested a substance found in the skin of red grapes may help keep muscles and nerves healthy as we get older...

Regular activity may help some people stay 'fat and fit'

Thursday Mar 2 2017

"You can be fat and healthy," is the misleading headline from the Daily Mail. While a Dutch study did find that activity could help avoid the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with obesity…

Exercise 'most proven method' to prevent return of breast cancer

Wednesday Feb 22 2017

"A half hour stroll a day can help women who've survived breast cancer prevent the killer disease returning," The Sun reports. A review of recent evidence, carried out by Canadian researchers, was prompted by the fact that many women…

Worrying about work out-of-hours 'may be bad for the heart'

Monday Feb 20 2017

"Taking work home can be deadly," the Daily Mail warns. A small study of London-based office workers found those who reported being frequently troubled by work-related issues had patterns of heart activity associated with stress and anxiety…

Shift work and heavy lifting may make it harder to get pregnant

Wednesday Feb 8 2017

"Shift work and physically demanding jobs linked to lower fertility in women." Sky News reports. A US study found a link between both activities and a reduction in both the number and quality of a woman’s eggs…

Ibuprofen ‘barely better than placebo’ at treating back pain

Friday Feb 3 2017

"Widely used anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen have little more benefit than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain," reports the Guardian. This is based on a study looking at more than 6,000 people with back pain, comparing…

Poor sleep may affect good sex in later life

Thursday Feb 2 2017

"Good night's sleep boosts sex life for women over 50," reports the Mail Online. US researchers asked more than 93,000 women aged 50 to 79 about their sleep patterns, difficulty sleeping, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction...

UK survey finds around 1 in 13 women report pain during sex

Thursday Jan 26 2017

"Nearly 1 in 10 British women [7.5%] finds sex painful, according to a big study," BBC News reports. The study's results highlight the arguably neglected issue of pain during sex – dyspareunia – which some women may be too…

Sitting down all day 'may accelerate DNA ageing'

Thursday Jan 19 2017

"Women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have faster-ageing cells than those who exercise every day," BBC News reports. This research looked at telomeres – often likened to the caps at the end of shoelaces…

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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