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Behind the Headlines

Behind the Headlines, a service provided by the NHS, offers an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news. Click here to read more about Behind the Headlines.


Electromagnetic 'bathing cap' shows promise in early Alzheimer's disease trial

19 September 2019

'Alzheimer's breakthrough as pioneering head device 'can REVERSE memory loss' using electromagnetic waves' reports the Mail Online.

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New research raises concerns that unborn babies may be directly exposed to pollution

18 September 2019

"Toxic air pollution particles are found in pregnant women's PLACENTAS for the first time," reports the Mail Online.

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Can taking paracetamol in pregnancy lead to child behavioural problems?

17 September 2019

'It’s thought of as one of the safest painkillers to take during pregnancy, but a new study has warned of the dangers of taking paracetamol when pregnant' the Daily Mirror reports

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Afternoon naps may lower heart attack and stroke risk

11 September 2019

"Having an afternoon nap twice a week 'lowers your risk of a heart attack'," reports the Daily Mail on the findings of a recent study.

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Vegetarian diet linked to lower risk of heart disease but higher risk of stroke

05 September 2019

'Being vegetarian 'lowers heart disease risk but increases chance of stroke'' reports The Guardian

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Soft drinks, including sugar-free versions, linked to earlier death

04 September 2019

"Ditch the Diet Coke! People who drink two glasses a day at 'higher risk of early death','' warns the Daily Mirror.

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Study suggests HRT carries higher risk of breast cancer than thought

03 September 2019

"Breast cancer: Menopausal hormone therapy risks 'bigger than thought'," BBC News reports. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is taken to relieve menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes. But it's long been recognised that HRT is linked to an increased risk of breast, womb and ovarian cancers, as well as the risk of cardiovascular problems such as blood clots.

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Alternate day fasting may help aid weight loss

29 August 2019

"Extreme 'caveman' diet of fasting every other day may help overweight patients lose nearly 8lbs in just four weeks," reports the Mail Online. The website reports on a new study that investigated the effects of intermittent fasting on weight, metabolism and a number of general health markers, such as cholesterol levels.

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No proof red wine makes you slim or is good for your gut

28 August 2019

"Lose weight and still drink wine! It's 'good for your gut and keeps you slim'," reports the Sun. Like many "too good to be true" headlines, the story is more complicated than that. Researchers looked at the self-reported drinking habits of 916 female twins in the UK, and cross-checked their findings in similar groups from the US and Belgium. They also assessed the micro-organisms, such as bacteria, living in the women's guts. A more diverse population of micro-organisms in the gut has been linked to better gut health.

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Reason to be cheerful? 'Optimists live longer' study reports

27 August 2019

"Optimists are more likely to live longer than those who have a more negative approach to life, a US study has found," BBC News reports.

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'Sit less, move more' may be key advice for living longer

22 August 2019

"Older adults can boost longevity 'with just a little exercise'," reports The Guardian. It's long been known that being more physically active is linked to being healthy and living longer. Now researchers who re-examined data from 8 studies, which included 36,383 people aged over 40, say the benefits are greater than previously thought, and that any intensity of activity helps.

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Air pollution link with mental health problems

21 August 2019

"Growing up in air-polluted areas linked to mental health issues," reports The Guardian.

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