Behind the headlines

Unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories

Mildly cold weather more deadly than heatwaves or very cold snaps

22 May 2015
Wet umbrellas "Mildly cold, drizzly days far deadlier than extreme temperatures," The Independent reports. An international study looking at weather-related deaths estimated that moderate cold killed far more people than extremely hot or cold temperatures.
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Is paracetamol use in pregnancy harmful for male babies?

22 May 2015
Pregnant woman holding pills "Paracetamol use in pregnancy may harm male foetus," The Guardian reports. Researchers found evidence that taking paracetamol for seven days may lower the amount of testosterone testicular tissue can produce – using human foetal testicular tissue grafted into mice.
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Hormone oestrogen linked to male breast cancer

13 May 2015
Estriol molecular structure "Men with high oestrogen more likely to develop breast cancer," reports the Daily Telegraph.
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Scientists 'amazed' at spread of typhoid 'superbug'

13 May 2015
Typhoid “Antibiotic-resistant typhoid is spreading across Africa and Asia and poses a major global health threat,” BBC News reports.
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Overweight diabetics 'live longer' than slimmer diabetics

12 May 2015
“Overweight diabetics are 13 per cent less likely to die prematurely than those of a normal weight or those who are obese,” the Mail Online reports.
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Claims a 'sweet tooth' increases your Alzheimer’s risk too simplistic

12 May 2015
Man eating doughnut at desk "Could cake and chocolate lead to Alzheimer's disease?" The Daily Telegraph asks.
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Eating little and often 'no better for dieters than fewer feasts'

11 May 2015
Healthy snack cracker "Eating little and often – like Jennifer Aniston – could help dieters achieve a healthy weight loss," reports the Mirror. Meanwhile, the Mail Online urges us to "Forget three square meals a day – eating six smaller portions is better for your waistline".
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Media hypes molecular blood pressure regulation discovery

11 May 2015
The Mail Online hails a "breakthrough in treating high blood pressure", saying scientists have discovered how the body regulates it, which could "slash risk of heart attacks and stroke".
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Appetite for apples? How fruit sugars may not suppress hunger

07 May 2015
Are you tempted to avoid eating fruit "because the sugar in it triggers cravings," as the Mail Online suggests today? If you are, it's worth having a look at some of the reassuring facts that can keep you chomping cherries and guzzling grapefruit.
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Heart failure drug digoxin linked to premature death

06 May 2015
"A heart drug taken by 250,000 Britons can actually hasten death," the Mail Online warns today. An analysis of previous research on digoxin, used to treat heart failure and heart rhythm abnormalities, suggests that it can raise the risk of premature death.
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