Behind the headlines

Unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories

Zika virus: your questions answered

12 Feb 2016
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the Zika virus has now spread through both South and Central America and expects 3-4 million people to be infected in 2016.
Read more

Could statins treat common cause of vision loss?

09 Feb 2016
"Statins could be miracle cure for blindness," reports the Express, following a new study into dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults.
Read more

'Autistic' monkeys created in controversial study

27 Jan 2016
Monkey "Genetically modified (GM) monkeys that develop symptoms of autism have been created to help scientists discover treatments for the condition," The Guardian reports.
Read more

Exercise is 'most effective' method of preventing lower back pain

14 Jan 2016
"Exercise is the best medicine to banish back pain and stop people taking sick days," reports the Daily Mirror. While this may be true, the research in question did not look at treatments for existing back pain.
Read more

New alcohol advice issued

11 Jan 2016
New proposed guidelines on alcohol, drawn up by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK, have been published today.
Read more

'Remixed' skin cells could lead to new diabetes treatments

08 Jan 2016
"End of injections in sight for diabetics after new discovery," says The Daily Telegraph. If you think you've read a similar headline before, you may be right – replacing insulin injections for type 1 diabetes has been a goal for many years.
Read more

Do high doses of vitamin D increase falls risk in the elderly?

07 Jan 2016
"Giving pensioners high doses of vitamin D to strengthen their leg bones may put them at higher risk of a fall," The Times reports after a Swiss study suggested high doses of the supplement offer no benefits, but do increase the risk of falling.
Read more

Infertility treatments 'not linked' to developmental delays

06 Jan 2016
"There is no heightened risk of developmental delays … in children conceived through IVF or other infertility treatments," the Mail Online reports. A study found that the numbers of children affected with such delays were the same as those conceived naturally.
Read more

Dry January 'can lead to healthier drinking patterns long-term'

05 Jan 2016
"Study … found that Dry January leads to healthier drinking habits," the Mail Online reports. Dry January involves giving up alcohol for the month. There is limited evidence about whether taking part in the challenge could lead to long-term changes in patterns of drinking.
Read more

Vitamin D deficiency linked to irritable bowel syndrome

24 Dec 2015
"Is vitamin D the key to treating IBS? 82% of sufferers 'are deficient'," the Mail Online reports.
Read more