25 June – 1 July 2016

The Daily Mail front page leads with School research that found a period of intense debate about statins was followed by a substantial rise in the proportion of people in the UK stopping taking the drug. The study found that an estimated 200,000 people stopped taking the pills as a result of media coverage. Author Liam Smeeth said: “Our findings suggest that widespread coverage of health stories in the mainstream media can have an important, real world impact on the behaviour of patients and doctors.” The research was covered by The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Mirror, NHS Choices, and via the Press Association to over 300 outlets worldwide. The research also generates an opinion piece in the The Daily Mirror.

Liam Smeeth appeared live on ITV lunchtime news and in a piece for ITV evening news, as well as talking to Irish national radio station Today FM (from 10m04s). Krishnan Bhaskaran spoke to BBC Radio London (from 02h24m14s).

Jessica Datta is quoted in The Independent about her new research that found one in eight women and one in ten men have experienced infertility, yet nearly half of them have not sought medical help: We advocate social policy that better supports working parents to manage the responsibilities of employment and bringing up children.” The research generated more than 150 pieces of global coverage. UK pieces included The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Huffington Post (UK), International Business Times, The Scotsman, via the Press Association. There was widespread coverage in India via three newswires: IANSANI and the Press Trust of India (PTI).

Jessica also spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live (from 06m30s). Her soundbite was used by most regional BBC stations in their news bulletins.

BBC News cover a study that suggests babies with brains damaged by Zika may still appear normal. Jimmy Whitworth told BBC News: “There is broader concern than originally thought. It is about more than microcephaly, which is the tip of the iceberg, and the risk might extend longer in pregnancy and even to birth.”

The London Evening Standard publishes travellers tips on the Zika virus and how to keep safe in Zika-infected areas, written by James Logan: “Public Health England has not recommended any restrictions on travel to countries with Zika, except those who are pregnant or planning to conceive.”

Martin McKee writes for BMJ Blogs over the confusion surrounding the effects of ‘Brexit’ on the future of public health. He said: “So, three days on, we seem no nearer to having any idea of what lies ahead but, as I said in the last blog, it won’t be good for health.” He writes again on how science should learn from apparent media bias following the EU referendum.

The Daily Telegraph acknowledge ‘National Unplugging Day’ and quote School research on mobile phone hygiene that ‘one in six mobile phones is contaminated with E. coli.’

Sally Bloomfield speaks to Net Doctor about the office hygiene habits that make us ill.

Nursing in Practice report on the Terrence Higgins Trust pilot scheme to offer home HIV test kits for free. The article refers to the National Gay Men’s Sex Survey carried out by the School.

Wired.co.uk write an article on the use of sniffer dogs to detect diabetes. Similar research by the School looking at the possibility of using sniffer dogs to detect malaria is referenced.

Research supported by the School that investigated the help offered to victims of major flooding is published by The Exeter Daily.

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