Archive: May 2016


Treatment 'breakthrough' in man with advanced skin cancer

31 May 2016

"Skin cancer cure hope for millions as major treatment breakthrough sees man's tumours disappear 'completely'," the Daily Mirror reports. While the headline is premature, the case report does present interesting findings…

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Leaving babies to cry 'will improve their sleep', study says

27 May 2016

"Babies do sleep better if you leave them to cry," the Daily Mail reports. A small study suggests that "graduated extinction" – better known as controlled crying in this country – increased sleep length and reduced the…

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Exam stress linked to teen suicide

26 May 2016

"First detailed study into 130 [teen] suicide cases in England finds range of common anxieties," The Guardian reports, citing factors including exam stress, bullying and bereavement…

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Could cannabis damage DNA that is then passed down generations?

26 May 2016

"Smoking cannabis can alter a person's DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses," the Mail Online reports. A new review has looked at the role cannabis may play in what is known as chromothripsis…

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Link between stillbirth and air pollution 'inconclusive'

25 May 2016

"Air pollution may raise risk of stillbirth and pregnant women should consider leaving cities, say scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports. This is somewhat radical advice given the study that prompted the headline…

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Proof opiates are useful for chronic back pain 'lacking'

24 May 2016

"Powerful painkillers doled out in their millions are ineffective against back pain," the Daily Mail reports. An Australian review found evidence for the effectiveness of opiate-based painkillers, such as tramadol and…

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Report attacks official guidance on low-fat diets

23 May 2016

"Low-fat diet bad for your health and cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs a disastrous mistake," the Daily Mirror reports. That is the main message of a controversial report attacking official UK guidelines on diet and weight loss…

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Review calls for global action to tackle antibiotic resistance crisis

20 May 2016

"Superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now," BBC News reports. A review commissioned by the UK government says wide-ranging action is required at a global level to prevent a post-antibiotic future…

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Healthier lifestyles 'could cut cancer death rates'

20 May 2016

"Half of all cancer deaths could be avoided if people simply adopted a healthier lifestyle," the Daily Mail reports. A new study adds to the weight of evidence that says combining simple lifestyle changes can dramatically…

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Study: 'mini strokes should be treated immediately with aspirin'

19 May 2016

"People should consider taking aspirin immediately after a minor stroke," BBC News reports. A review of existing evidence found people treated with aspirin after a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA)…

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Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

18 May 2016

"Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin. This is a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like…

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Are broken bones, loneliness and poor sleep really hidden killers?

18 May 2016

"Revealed, the five hidden killers that could send you to an early grave," the Daily Mail reports. These "hidden killers" include loneliness and poor sleep. But this is a simplistic take on complex research…

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Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

17 May 2016

"Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'." Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic…

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Dad's age, diet and lifestyle may cause birth defects

16 May 2016

"Men are being warned to become fathers by 40 or face a greater risk of having children with serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports after a new review looked at some of the evidence about paternal influences on the risk of childhood diseases…

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Immune system 'plays a role in dementia'

13 May 2016

"Scientists have identified a new cause of devastating neurological conditions," the Mail Online reports – but this is entirely inaccurate. A review of existing evidence makes the case that the innate immune system may be…

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No evidence probiotics promote 'gut diversity' in healthy adults

12 May 2016

"Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults…

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Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart?

12 May 2016

"Pint of beer a day could protect you from heart attacks," The Independent reports. A new review on the alleged protective effects of moderate beer drinking has been warmly welcomed by the UK media – but nobody reported it was funded…

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BMI categories may need adjusting, argue researchers

11 May 2016

"Being overweight may not be as unhealthy as it was 40 years ago," BBC News reports. New research has found a body mass index (BMI) of 27 is linked to the lowest rate of death – but someone with a BMI of 27 is currently classed as being overweight...

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33,000 deaths 'linked to failings in NHS heart attack care'

10 May 2016

"Thousands of heart victims killed by poor care," claims the Daily Mail. A review of clinical data from the last 10 years in England and Wales looked at patients with a history of what are known as…

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Are we sleepwalking into a 'global sleep crisis'?

09 May 2016

"We are facing a global sleep crisis because we don't go to bed early enough, say scientists," the Mail Online reports. The warning comes from a study produced by a research team using a smartphone app (Entrain) to track sleep patterns…

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Study finds no link between mobile phones and brain cancer

09 May 2016

"Mobile phones don't increase the risk of brain cancer, 30-year study concludes," the Mail Online reports. The Australian study found the massive increase in mobile phone use over the past 30 years was not matched by a similar rise in brain cancer cases…

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Exercise benefits you - even in polluted city air

06 May 2016

"Why walking is good for you ... even in the smog. Health benefits of a stroll found to outweigh harm caused by chemicals and dust pumped out by traffic," says the Mail Online. The report in question was carried out...

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Can you really 'catch' obesity?

05 May 2016

"Obesity could be contagious like superbug C diff, suggest scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports. This rather alarming headline follows a study that explored characteristics of bacteria living in the human gut...

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Diluted apple juice 'as good as' rehydration drinks for children

04 May 2016

"Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains," says the Daily Mirror, missing the point of the study it reports on. The study looked at the use of diluted apple juice to prevent dehydration...

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Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

03 May 2016

"Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer...

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