Archive for December, 2010

Peter Wehrwein

Top 10 health stories of 2010

Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health

1.

Anthony Komaroff, M.D.

Why we do what we do: good health information can save lives

Anthony Komaroff, M.D., Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

My colleagues at Harvard Health Publications and I have a mission: to provide accurate, reliable information that will help readers live healthier lives. We work hard to fulfill that mission, and the feedback we get from folks who read our newsletters, Special Health Reports, books, and online health information indicates we are on the right […]

Peter Wehrwein

Echinacea for colds

Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health

Does echinacea, the popular natural cold remedy, really work? It depends on what you mean by “work.” Results reported in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine found that echinacea may reduce the length of a weeklong cold by 7 to 10 hours and make symptoms a little less onerous. That can’t be characterized as a major effect, so many people may figure that […]

Peter Wehrwein

The safety of painkillers

Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health

Perhaps as many as one in every 5 American adults will get a prescription for a painkiller this year, and many more will buy over-the-counter medicines without a prescription. These drugs can do wonders—getting rid of pain can seem like a miracle—but sometimes there’s a high price to be paid. Remember the heavily marketed COX-2 inhibitors? Rofecoxib, sold as Vioxx, […]

Patrick J. Skerrett

A Chia Pet for diabetes?

Patrick J. Skerrett, Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Like swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano in the spring, Chia Pets begin appearing every December on late-night television and in the gift aisles of many stores. (Full disclaimer: I bought one for the Yankee Swap at Harvard Health Publication’s annual Christmas party.) Water these ceramic figures and they sprout a green “fur” from seeds […]

Patrick J. Skerrett

Decline in stroke deaths reinforces importance of preventing “brain attack”

Patrick J. Skerrett, Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Stroke killed 2,000 fewer Americans in 2008 (the last year with complete numbers) than it did in 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday in its latest annual Deaths report. That dropped stroke from the third leading cause of death in the United States to the fourth. Good news? Yes and […]

Ann MacDonald

New insights into treatment-resistant depression

Ann MacDonald, Contributor, Harvard Health

Only one-third of people with major depression achieve remission after trying one antidepressant. When the first medication doesn’t adequately relieve symptoms, next step options include taking a new drug along with the first, or switching to another drug. With time and persistence, nearly seven in 10 adults with major depression eventually find a treatment that […]