Archive for 2020

How does cardiovascular disease increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19?

Initial investigation into COVID-19 focused on its respiratory effects, but a more recent report describes serious cardiovascular complications in people with pre-existing heart disease. How does this underlying condition increase risk for these people?

Recognizing and treating depression may help improve heart health

Depression often occurs alongside cardiovascular disease, or may already exist and worsens with it, but frequently the symptoms go unrecognized. The American College of Cardiology recommends screening patients to identify symptoms of depression.

Ranitidine (Zantac) recall expanded, many questions remain

The FDA has not yet released the results of its testing of the heartburn medication ranitidine. The testing method used by the online pharmacy that originally alerted the FDA may have affected their results.

COVID-19: If you’re older and have chronic health problems, read this

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Older people who have a chronic medical condition are at increased risk for severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19. Just how old is “older,” what constitutes chronic disease, and how can you lower risks?

Older adults and medical marijuana: Reduced stigma and increased use

Cannabis use among older adults has been steadily increasing, due to lessening stigma and increased interest in using medical marijuana. But there are specific concerns for older people, so anyone considering this option should have a conversation with their doctor weighing the benefits and risks.

Is it safe to see the pediatrician for vaccines and medical visits?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Concerned about pediatric visits right now? Is it okay to wait on a child’s vaccinations or better to stick to the schedule? What about appointments for other routine matters? What is serious enough to justify the risk?

OK, boomer: You’re not the only one who needs testing for hepatitis C

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Recent guidelines for screening for hepatitis C focused on baby boomers because that population had most of the undiagnosed infections, but because new infections are increasing fastest in those 20 to 39, the guidelines have been revised.

Have a headache? The top 7 triggers

There are several common triggers for headaches. Identifying the one that is causing your headache is the first step toward avoiding it or ensuring you can treat it properly.

Strategies to promote better sleep in these uncertain times

In these challenging times it’s normal to experience sleep problems. Because proper sleep is so important to well-being, here are some tips for improving sleep — actions you can take both during the day and at night.

Thinning hair in women: Why it happens and what helps

Hair loss affects at least a third of women, but unlike men, women are more likely to experience thinning hair than going bald. There are many possible causes and some solutions.