Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Family Planning

All doctors are able to offer family planning advice during their normal surgery. Oral contraceptives: Please make an appointment with a practice nurse (or a GP).

  • Coils: Fitted at the Family Planning Clinic
  • Contraceptive implants: We do not fit these at the surgery and will ask you to attend the Family Planning Clinic 
  • Contraceptive injections: Are administered by the practice nurses.
  • Emergency Contraception: Please contact a practice nurse (or a GP) as soon as possible.



NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

    "Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports.

    A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This latest study looked at deaths from...

  • Sitting down all day 'may accelerate DNA ageing'

    "Women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have faster-ageing cells than those who exercise every day," BBC News reports.

    This research looked at telomeres – often likened to the caps at the end of shoelaces, they are made up of molecules that protect strands of chromosomes from "fraying".

    Telomeres shorten...

  • A third of adults treated for asthma 'may not have the disease'

    "The great asthma myth: A third of those diagnosed don't have the condition," reports the Mail Online.

    A study in Canada found about one-third of adults diagnosed with asthma in the past five years showed no signs of the condition on retesting.

    Asthma has become a common condition, and can cause serious illness or...

  • Eating disorders in middle-aged women 'common'

    "Eating disorders…affect a small but substantial number of women in their 40s and 50s," BBC News reports. While often regarded as a "disease of the young", a new survey suggests 3.6% of middle-aged women in the UK are affected by an eating...

  • Can colic really be cured by acupuncture?

    "Is sticking needles in babies really the best way to ease distress from colic?" the Daily Mail asks.

    The question was prompted by a study that looked at whether acupuncture can help with colic in babies.


  • Hot red chilli peppers linked to longer lifespan

    "How hot chilli could help you live longer," the Daily Mail reports. A US study found that people who reported eating red hot chilli peppers had around a 13% reduced risk of premature death compared to those who avoided them.

    The study looked at adults in the 1980s and 90s who reported eating any hot chillies over the past...

  • Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

    "A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports.

    Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies into diet and health. Namely, that the most widely used method to assess diet – self-...

  • Yoga 'may improve lower back pain'

    "Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence found," the Daily Mail reports.

    The review concluded there is evidence yoga may help improve function and relieve pain associated with chronic lower back pain in some...

  • A pattern of brain activity may link stress to heart attacks

    "The effect of constant stress on a deep-lying region of the brain explains the increased risk of heart attack, a study in The Lancet suggests," BBC News reports.

    Research suggests that stress stimulates the amygdala. The amygdala is, in evolutionary terms, one of the oldest areas of the brain and has been linked to some of...

  • Study reveals how alcohol shifts brain into 'starvation mode'

    "Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered," BBC News reports.

    Research in mice found alcohol increased activity in a set of brain cells used to regulate appetite.

    Scientists have long been puzzled about why people often eat more when they've been...

  • Weekend-only workouts 'still give an important health boost'

    "Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often," the Mail Online reports.

    New research looked at data from almost 64,000 participants collected as part of health...

  • Reports of a 'wrinkle cure' look a little saggy

    "Wrinkles could be a thing of the past as scientists find a way to regenerate fatty cells," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Research involving mice suggests a protein called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) could repair skin damaged by scarring or ageing by stimulating the production of fat cells (adipocytes).


  • 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 new...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 different ways.


  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • Sugar guidelines unreliable says study funded by sugar industry

    "A study … challenged recommendations by public health officials for people to cut sugar consumption," the Mail Online reports. The study has been criticised as it is funded by companies who sell sugary products, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and McDonald's.

    This systematic review assessed guidelines from all over the world,...

  • Diet rich in processed meat 'may worsen asthma symptoms'

    "Regularly indulging in a bacon sandwich doubles the risk of an asthma attack," is the needlessly alarming headline in The Sun.

    A French study suggests eating four or more portions of processed (cured) meats a week may worsen symptoms like wheezing – but this does not amount to an asthma attack.

    An asthma attack is...

  • New laser therapy for low-risk prostate cancer shows promise

    "A drug activated by laser light successfully destroys early prostate cancer while avoiding side effects … results have shown," The Guardian reports.

    This new technique may offer an alternative treatment to the current "wait and see" approach, also known as active surveillance.

    The main challenge of...

  • Gum disease bug linked to rheumatoid arthritis

    "Want to avoid arthritis? Then brush your teeth … bugs that cause gum infections also trigger the crippling joint pain," the Mail Online reports.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the cells that...

  • Sugar tax would 'cut childhood obesity'

    "Sugary drinks tax 'will benefit children most'," BBC News reports. A new study, where researchers tried to estimate the impact of a sugar tax on soft drinks, found that it would help combat child obesity as well as tooth decay.

    A proposed UK sugar tax on soft drinks is expected to be introduced in 2018.

    By modelling...

  • MRI scans in pregnancy improve diagnosis of brain defects

    "Detailed MRI scans should be offered to some women in pregnancy to help spot brain defects in the developing baby, say researchers," BBC News reports. A UK study suggests combining an MRI scan with ultrasounds could prevent misdiagnosis.


  • Long-term painkiller use 'linked to hearing loss in women'

    "Women who take paracetamol or ibuprofen just twice a week could be damaging their hearing permanently," the Daily Mail reports.

    A US study found an association between the long-term use of these widely used painkillers and reported hearing...

  • Pokémon no-go: game's exercise effects short-lived in most players

    "Pokémon GO doesn't help people to stay fit and healthy," the Mail Online reports. A survey of US players of the popular augmented reality game found the average player's daily step rate fell back to pre-game levels after six weeks.

    Pokémon GO is an app which encourages players to explore real-world destinations while "...

  • Brain tests may predict children at risk of becoming 'social burdens'

    "Brain tests predict children's futures," BBC News reports. A study found that childhood factors such as low IQ, parental neglect and poor self-control were strongly associated with "socially costly" outcomes in adulthood, including smoking and obesity.

    The New Zealand based study followed the lives of 1,037...

  • Claim high-fat diets can prevent diabetes 'unproven'

    "Diets laden with butter, cream and cheese 'can help combat surge in type 2 diabetes'," the Mail Online reports.

    But the study it reports on only followed a small group of men for 12 weeks – not long enough to determine whether the diet would prevent ...

  • Report looks at the health of the 'baby boomer' generation

    "Baby boomers should 'stay in work to keep healthy'," reports BBC News, while The Daily Telegraph warns that "Swinging sixty-somethings see swell in sexually transmitted diseases".

    Both headlines are prompted by a new report commissioned (and partly written) by the Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally...

  • Some psychotic episodes 'may be triggered by immune disorders'

    "Sufferers of psychotic illnesses 'may have treatable immune disorder'," The Independent reports.

    Researchers from Oxford University found around 9% of people presenting with psychotic symptoms also had signs of immune dysfunction.

    They found these people had antibodies in their blood linked to a condition called...

  • Child 'more likely to use drugs if mum smoked when pregnant'

    "Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports.

    New research suggests smoking in pregnancy could affect the genes of the child, increasing their risk of substance abuse in later life.

    The research focused on a branch of genetics known as epigenetics....

  • Moderate exercise 'better for sperm' than high intensity exercise

    "'Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men's sperm count'," BBC News reports.

    Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes. A fourth group did no exercise as a control.

    The men's sperm was then tested at various intervals...

  • Grooming pubic hair linked to increased STI risk

    "Women and men who regularly trim or remove all their pubic hair run a greater risk of sexually transmitted infections," BBC News reports.

    A survey of around 7,500 Americans, aged between 18 and 65 years, found "groomers" had a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as...

  • Handful of nuts 'cuts heart disease and cancer' risk

    "People consuming at least 20 grams of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer," The Independent reports. That was the main finding of a review looking at 20 previous studies on the benefits of nuts.

    Researchers found consistent evidence that a 28 gram daily serving of...

  • Behind the Headlines 2016 Quiz of the Year

    In 2014, Behind the Headlines has covered more than 500 health stories that made it into the mainstream media. If you've been paying attention you should find this quiz easy and fun.

    Why not test your knowledge of 2014's health news with our month-by-month quiz?

    Answers are at the foot of the page (no peeking!).


  • Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?

    "Parkinson's disease 'may start in gut'," BBC News reports. New research involving mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may lead to a greater decline in motor function in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    The study involved a mouse model of ...

  • 'Not enough over-50s' taking aspirin to prevent heart disease

    "Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer and heart disease risk … study claims," the Mail Online reports.

    U.S. researchers ran a simulation of what might happen if all Americans over 50 years old took aspirin on a daily basis. Their results found that people would live about four months longer on average, adding 900,000...

  • 'No need to wait to try again after miscarriage' advice

    "Women who suffer a miscarriage should try for a baby again within six months, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports.

    Current guidance from the World Health Organization recommends couples wait at least six months before trying to conceive again after a...

  • 'Want to live longer? Try racquet sports', recommends study

    "If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet," The Guardian reports.

    A study looking at the impact of individual sports on mortality found racquet sports reduced the risk of death by around 47%.

    Researchers also found reduced risks of death for people who took...

  • Lack of sleep may disrupt development of a child's brain

    "New brain scans reveal sleep deprivation damages children's brains more than previously thought," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers measured the brain activity of children whose sleep had been restricted by four hours and found some potentially worrying signs.

    The study included 13 children aged between five and...

  • Expensive IVF add-ons 'not evidence based'

    "Nearly all costly add-on treatments offered by UK fertility clinics to increase the chance of a birth through IVF are not supported by high-quality evidence," BBC News reports, covering the findings of a review by experts in evidence-based medicine.


  • Low social status 'damages immune function'

    "Simply being at the bottom of the social heap directly alters the body," BBC News reports. The headline is based on a study in which researchers used female monkeys to simulate social hierarchies.

    Monkeys of low social status were found to have biomarkers indicating poor immune function and possible increased vulnerability...

  • Just a small cut in saturated fats 'reduces heart disease risk'

    "Swapping butter and meat for olive oil and fish does cut the risk of heart disease," The Times reports.

    The headline is prompted by the findings from a US study involving data from over 100,000 men and women, followed for more than 20 years. The results showed that consumption of different types of saturated fats was...

  • Review questions recent official vitamin D guidance

    "Vitamin D pills branded 'waste of time' and could even be 'harmful' according to new research," The Sun reports. But, despite the headline, no new research has been done.

    The news comes from a review of existing evidence published in the peer-reviewed...

  • Men's attitude towards fatherhood affects child behaviour

    "Children of confident fathers who embrace parenthood are less likely to show behavioural problems before their teenage years," The Guardian reports.

    A study found a link between positive attitudes towards fatherhood and good behaviour at age 11. The UK study involved more than 6,000 children born in 1991 or 1992 as well as...

  • Can a high-tech treatment help combat some of our oldest fears?

    "Scientists have raised hopes for a radical new therapy for phobias," The Guardian reports.

    Brain scanners were used to identify brain activity pinpointing when people are most receptive to the "rewriting" of fearful memories. The scanners used functional ...

  • Bagged salads 'pose salmonella risk,' say researchers

    "Bagged salad can fuel the growth of food-poisoning bugs like salmonella and make them more dangerous," BBC News reports.

    Researchers found evidence that the environment inside a salad bag offers an ideal breeding ground for salmonella,...

  • Online calculator that tries to predict IVF success released

    "Couples can find out their chances of having a baby over multiple cycles of IVF treatment using a new online calculator," BBC News reports.

    The calculator is designed to predict the success of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) – often used when a woman has a...

  • Does vitamin D cut lung infection risk in older adults?

    "Why you should take vitamin D as you get older: High doses reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses by 40%," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers in Colorado investigated whether a high dose of vitamin D in older adults living in long term...

  • Fat storage problems may increase diabetes risk

    "Inability to store fat safely increases diabetes risk," BBC News reports.

    Researchers have found links between genetic variations known to affect the storage of fat in the body and type 2 diabetes, as well as heart attacks and strokes.

    People can store fat tissue in different ways, such as in their legs and arms....

  • Study looks at nursing assistants' effect on patient outcomes

    "Patients are a fifth more likely to die on wards where nurses have been replaced by untrained staff, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports.

    This latest research into 243 hospitals across Europe found those with more professional nurses, compared to nursing assistants, had lower death rates after surgery and were...

  • Testing sense of smell may give early warning of Alzheimer's risk

    "A new four-point test has fine-tuned smell exams to check for Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. The testing is based on recognising and then recalling certain distinct smells, such as lemon or menthol.

    Some people who scored badly on the test were later found to have early signs associated with...

  • First time flu infection may affect lifetime immunity

    "A person's chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests," BBC News reports.

    Researchers created a modelling study, based on historic data, which aimed to look at the reasons why past flu epidemics of ...

  • Probiotics 'aid memory in people with Alzheimer's disease'

    "Probiotics found in yoghurt and supplements could help improve thinking and memory for people with Alzheimer's disease," The Daily Telegraph reports after a small study found people given the bacterial supplement had improved scores on brain function tests.


  • Scouts and Guides 'grow up to have better mental health'

    "Scouts and guides provide 'mental health boost for life'," BBC News reports. A study of adults with a scouting or guiding background found they were less likely to be anxious or depressed in later life.

    But the difference in average mental health scores was quite small (2.2 points on a 1 to 100 scale). About 21% of people...

  • Teen vapers 'more likely to take up smoking'

    "Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests," The Guardian reports.

    A study of US teens found those who regularly vaped were more likely to progress to tobacco smoking than their non-vaping peers.

    The study used questionnaires to assess e-cigarette and cigarette use in 3,000 adolescents...

  • Hopes raised that Zika virus could be treated in the womb

    "Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika," BBC News reports.

    Researchers have had success using antibody therapy to treat mice when they were still in their mothers' womb.

    There is evidence that...

  • Common food additives 'linked' to bowel cancer

    "Why processed food may cause bowel cancer: Common additives change gut bacteria which allow tumours to grow," reports the Mail Online.

    This follows a study in mice investigating whether common food additives (E numbers) called emulsifiers cause inflammation in the gut that...

  • Smoking causes hundreds of genetic mutations

    "Research quantifies genetic damage caused by smoking," the Mail reports, saying a pack a day causes 150 mutations in lung cells.

    This study analysed the DNA sequence of cells from more than 5,000 cancers. About half came from smokers and the rest from non-smokers, which allowed researchers to compare mutations between the...

  • Worrying about health linked to heart disease

    "Worried well 'make themselves sick'," reports The Daily Telegraph.

    Several other news outlets covered the same story with headlines about how the "worried well" may be more likely to develop heart disease.

    The stories are based on a Norwegian population study with 7,052 participants that aimed to see...

  • Promising Alzheimer's drug 'clears early hurdle'

    "Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial," reports The Guardian as early tests on a new drug show promising signs.

    The drug, verubecestat, is designed to prevent the brain making a particular protein called amyloid proteins that turns into sticky clumps of plaque.

    These plaques of amyloid beta...

  • Smartphones and tablets 'disrupt children's sleep'

    "Streaming instead of dreaming: Using phones and tablets before bed stops kids from sleeping and can lead to health issues" is the rather poetic headline from the Mail Online.

    A review of previous data found significant links between media devices like smartphones and tablets, and disrupted sleep in children.


  • Eating one egg a day may lower risk of stroke

    "An egg a day can cut chances of suffering a fatal stroke," The Times reports. A new review of existing data covering around 300,000 people suggests eating up to one egg a day may lower stroke risk; but not the risk of heart disease.

    The health effects of eggs have been debated for years. Eggs, which contain cholesterol,...

  • Mouthwash and disinfectant ingredient linked to 'superbug'

    "A household mouthwash may be creating superbugs," the Daily Mail reports.

    A laboratory study found the ingredient chlorhexidine, used in a wide range of antiseptic products, increased bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin.

    Despite the headline to the contrary, researchers did not specifically test...

  • Are high-speed cyclists at risk from air pollution?

    "High-speed cyclists 'breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution'," The Sun reports.

    Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, put together a mathematical model, and his figures suggest cycling faster than 20km (12.4 miles) an hour increases exposure to pollutants.

    He used a series of complex equations to calculate...

  • Male contraceptive jab 'effective', but side effects are common

    "Male contraceptive injection '96% effective'," ITV News reports.

    The news comes from a study looking at a new type of male contraceptive injection, which was found to be effective – but side effects like acne and mood changes were common.

    The 320 healthy men involved in the study received contraceptive injections...

  • Researchers discover the role of hormone in 'creating fat'

    "Why stress can make you overweight: Hormones turn normal cells into dangerous fat," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by research into the newly discovered role of the Adamts1 hormone in the formation of fat cells.

    Findings from the animal and laboratory study suggest the Adamts1 hormone can stimulate the...

  • Study recommends screening toddlers for heart disease risk

    "Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports.

    A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited condition that affects around 1 to 2 in every 250 people in the UK. It can cause abnormally...

  • Parent training may benefit children with severe autism

    "A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children," The Guardian reports.

    A new trial looked at the impact of early intervention in children with severe autism. This...

  • Women now drinking 'almost as much alcohol as men'

    "Women have caught up with men in the amount of alcohol they drink," The Guardian reports.

    A survey of data from around the world suggests the gap between men and women is closing rapidly when it comes to alcohol use and subsequent alcohol-related harms.

    Researchers looked at 68 studies from across the world studying...

  • Heading footballs may cause short-term brain changes

    "Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory for 24 hours, a study has found," BBC News reports.

    The news is based on a small experimental study involving 19 amateur footballers. The players were asked to head a football 20 times. Memory tests and sensitive tests of their brain-muscle...

  • Sweetened drinks, including diet drinks, may raise diabetes risk

    "Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown," The Guardian reports.

    The research was a Swedish cohort study of sweetened drink consumption over the past year for people diagnosed with...

  • 'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

    "Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels (but this could have been coincidental), but it did not investigate if this had any long-term...

  • Anti-inflammatory arthritis drugs may help with depression

    "Arthritis pills could help beat depression," The Sun reports. A review of studies suggests anti-cytokine drugs, currently used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, could have a role in treating depression...

  • Bacteria that process nitrates in food 'may trigger migraines'

    "Research shows [migraine] sufferers have higher levels of bacteria involved in processing nitrates, and could explain why some foods appear to act as migraine triggers," The Guardian reports.

    Nitrates are found in processed meats, like bacon, as well as some wines and chocolate.

    The story is based on a study that...

  • A 10-minute walk after a meal 'good for diabetes'

    "Short stroll after meals better for blood sugar than walks at other times," says The Daily Telegraph.

    The story is based on a study which aimed to see whether taking a 10-minute walk after a main meal resulted in lower blood glucose levels than a single 30-minute walk each day for people with...

  • IVF not proven to cut birth defect risk in babies with older mothers

    "Women aged 40 or over are less likely to have babies with birth defects if they conceive by IVF," the Daily Mail reports, while The Daily Telegraph says: "Older mothers have healthier babies if they conceive using IVF".

    Both headlines misinterpret the results of a study that looked at births in South Australia...

  • Does IVF cut birth defect risk in babies with older mothers?

    "Women aged 40 or over are less likely to have babies with birth defects if they conceive by IVF," the Daily Mail reports, while The Daily Telegraph says: "Older mothers have healthier babies if they conceive using IVF".

    Both headlines misinterpret the results of a study that looked at births in South Australia...

  • Does IVF cut birth defect risk in babies with older mothers?

    "Women aged 40 or over are less likely to have babies with birth defects if they conceive by IVF," the Daily Mail reports, while The Daily Telegraph says: "Older mothers have healthier babies if they conceive using IVF".

    Both headlines misinterpret the results of a study that looked at births in South Australia...

  • Fussy eating in children may be partially genetic

    "Is your child a fussy eater? It could be down to genetics not parenting," the Daily Mirror reports. A study involving twins suggests food fussiness as well as food neophobia – unwillingness to try new foods – may partially be the result of genetics.

    The researchers looked at differences in parent-reported behaviour between...

  • Antidepressants 'double suicide risk' says controversial study

    "Antidepressants could double the risk of feelings that could lead to suicide, according to a new study which has triggered furious rows," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Critics have attacked the study as "fatally flawed" because researchers extrapolated certain side effects, such as anxiety, as being a risk factor...

  • Blood pressure drop on standing 'may be linked to dementia'

    "Have you ever felt dizzy when you stand up?" asks the Mail Online. "You could be more at risk of dementia," the website warns.

    Researchers in Holland found a weak link between blood pressure drops on standing and the chances of getting...

  • Receptionists 'putting people off' seeing their GPs

    "Receptionists may 'put people off' seeing their GP by asking questions about symptoms," ITV News reports on a widely covered study carried out by Cancer Research UK.

    The study is part of an ongoing project looking at reasons why some people don't seek advice for potential "early warning signs" for certain...

  • Doctors 'vastly outperform' symptom checker apps

    "Doctors correctly diagnose illness 'twice as often as online symptom checkers'," The Sun reports.

    A US study ran a head-to-head comparison between doctors and a symptom checker platform called Human Dx using what are known as clinical vignettes.

    Clinical vignettes have been used for many years to help hone trainee...

  • Does vitamin D in pregnancy prevent ADHD?

    "Sunbathing mothers guard against hyperactive babies," The Daily Telegraph reports – a headline that achieves the dubious dual distinction of being both inaccurate and irresponsible.

    The study the news is based on never looked at sunbathing, which can actually be harmful during pregnancy.

    Danish researchers took...

  • 'No link' between night shifts and breast cancer risk

    "Working night shifts has 'little or no effect' on a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, new research suggests," BBC News reports. This was the finding of a new study looking at data from 10 different countries.

    The review pooled the evidence of three large UK-based studies, each of which found no significant link...

  • Cervical screening every 10 years for healthy women is 'safe'

    "Cervical cancer: gap between screenings 'can be increased to 10 years'," The Guardian reports.

    A Dutch study suggests women who test negative for the human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer, can be safely...

  • Men conceived by IVF 'may inherit sperm problems'

    "Baby boys born through a common type of IVF treatment … may not be [able to] have children naturally," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A new study has looked at a small sample of men born using the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) technique.

    ICSI is a form of ...

  • Claims that coffee prevents dementia are lukewarm at best

    "Coffee really can help to prevent dementia: Just two cups a day 'cuts the risk of developing it by 36 per cent','' the Mail Online reports. But if you look closely at the research behind this report, the results are of borderline significance, meaning it is likely they were influenced by chance.

    Researchers in the US found that...

  • Warning over babies sleeping in car seats

    "Long periods sleeping in car seats may be dangerous for young babies," the Daily Mail reports.

    The results of a small study suggest spending long periods of time in a car seat may lead to babies having breathing difficulties.

    But the researchers pointed out "we cannot be certain of the clinical significance or...

  • Does going on holiday help boost the immune system?

    "Prescribing holidays 'could help fight infections'," BBC News reports, while the Mail Online claims holidays can "turbo-boost" the immune system. But the news isn't quite as conclusive as it sounds.

    It comes from a study where two groups of mice were housed for two weeks in two different types of housing:...

  • Women taking the contraceptive pill 'more likely to be depressed'

    "Are you on the Pill? You're more likely to be depressed: Women who use contraception are up to 70% more likely to be on antidepressants," reports the Mail Online.

    The news is based on a study by researchers in Denmark to see whether hormonal contraceptive methods were associated with...

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