• 07 JAN 17
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    Some babies should be given peanuts early say new US guidelines

    "Babies should be given peanut early – some at four months old – in order to reduce the risk of allergy, according to new US guidance," BBC News reports. The guidelines are based on UK-led research that found early exposure reduced allergy risk. The new US guidelines, which are informed by expert panel discussions and a

    • 06 JAN 17
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    People who live near busy roads have higher dementia rates

    "People who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia," BBC News reports. A Canadian study found that people who lived within 50 metres of a busy road were 7% more likely to develop dementia than people who live at least 300 metres away. The results were produced by a major study that tracked all

    • 05 JAN 17
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    Does discovery of ‘severe PMS genes’ offer hope of a cure?

    "Women who suffer from severe mood swings before their period have a different genetic make-up," The Sun reports. New research has found a link between a gene complex called ESC/E(Z) and severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Nearly all women of childbearing age have some premenstrual symptoms – often referred

    • 04 JAN 17
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    No proof that sugar-free soft drinks are healthier, argues review

    "Soft drinks made with artificial sweeteners, such as diet colas, do not help people lose weight and may be as big a part of the obesity problem as the full-sugar versions," The Guardian reports. While the headline may sound definitive, this was the conclusion of an opinion piece (or narrative review), not evidence based on

    • 04 JAN 17
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    Grandparents who babysit ‘tend to live longer’

    "Grandparents who babysit their grandchildren tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for other people, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found grandparent babysitters had a 37% lower mortality risk than adults of the same age with no caring responsibilities. The study included around 500 adults from the Berlin

    • 30 DEC 16
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    Our news predictions for 2017

    Climate change continues to impact on public health Despite what many commenters have said in 2016, climate change is real and is ongoing. That’s the thing about science. Just because you don’t believe in it, it doesn’t go away. In 2016 we have seen evidence of the impact of climate change in a number of

    • 29 DEC 16
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    The 10 most popular stories from 2016 – as picked by you

    10: Ibuprofen-like painkillers linked to an increased risk of heart failure  "Ibuprofen could raise the risk of heart failure by up to 83%," the Daily Mirror warned in September. But this was a misleading headline as the "83%" figure was related to an obscure type of painkiller called ketorolac and not ibuprofen, which should be a safe option for

    • 28 DEC 16
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    Behind the Headlines 2016 Quiz of the Year

    In 2016, Behind the Headlines covered more than 300 health stories that made it into the mainstream media. If you’ve been paying attention you should find this quiz easy and fun. Answers are at the foot of the page (no peeking!).   In January 2016’s health news… In a controversial study, monkeys were genetically engineered

    • 23 DEC 16
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    Want to feel happier? Take a break from Facebook

    "Facebook lurking makes you miserable, says study," BBC News reports after a Danish study found regular users who took a week-long break from the social media site reported increased wellbeing. The one-week trial assigned Facebook users to either give up using the site for a week, or go on using it usual. They were then

    • 23 DEC 16
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    New drug proves effective for both types of MS

    "A drug that alters the immune system has been described as ‘big news’ and a ‘landmark’ in treating multiple sclerosis," BBC News reports. The drug, ocrelizumab, proved effective in two related studies, for treating both the primary progressive and the relapsing remitting types of multiple sclerosis (MS). We have focused our analysis on the second study,