Medical practice

Behind the Headlines quiz of the year 2011

It's been a year in which great scientific minds have addressed many burning questions, asking – among many, many other things – should nuns take the Pill, is watching television bad for your heart, do hammocks aid sleep, and can a shed make a man healthy.

In 2011 Behind the Headlines has covered more than 500 health stories that made it into the mainstream media.

Just for fun, test your knowledge of the year with our month-by-month quiz. Answers are at the foot of the page.


Researchers in the US and Taiwan claimed faulty stem cells caused what?

a) Vitamin B deficiency

b) Baldness

c) Memory loss


A systematic review of studies with more than a million participants concluded that heart disease risk was reduced by moderate intake of what?

a) Aspirin

b) Vitamin D

c) Alcohol


Which newspaper, on a story about perfluorocarbons (PFCs), asked ‘Could your saucepans bring on the menopause?’

a) The Sun

b) The Daily Mail

c) The Express


What fruit was said to protect against heart attacks, diabetes and stroke, as well as staving off obesity?

a) Tangerines

b) Bananas

c) Prickly pears


After a study conducted by researchers in three English hospitals, men were warned of a possible side effect of taking Viagra. Was it

a) High blood pressure

b) Deafness

c) Impotence


After a study involving a small group of inactive, obese individuals in Canada, newspapers claimed you could get fit by doing what?

a) Fidgeting

b) Watching television

c) Eating meringue


The BBC and several newspapers reported on a study that said interrupted sleep may impair memory. Was this a study of

a) Post-menopausal women

b) Mice

c) Teenage boys


A British man was given an artificial plastic what?

a) Heart

b) Penis

c) Eye


Pollution from traffic fumes was said to be able to trigger what?

a) Diabetes

b) Eczema

c) Heart attacks


What was said to cut the risk of genetic bowel cancer?

a) Aspirin

b) Paracetamol

c) Regular exercise


A study of 1,600 allergy sufferers concluded that ‘millions’ were likely to be allergic to one thing. Was it

a) Their own home

b) Money

c) Tomatoes


A study from Argentina and the US claimed that wi-fi from laptops could damage what?

a) Eyesight

b) Sperm

c) Memory


January: b) Baldness; February: c) Alcohol; March: b) The Daily Mail; April: a) Tangerines; May: b) Deafness; June: a) Fidgeting; July: b) Mice; August: a) Heart; September: c) Heart attacks; October: a) Aspirin; November: a) Their own home; December: b) Sperm

NHS Attribution