Archive for 2021

Want to feel more connected? Practice empathy

Empathy helps people get along with others, but the ability to understand another person’s experience comes more easily to some people than to others. However, the capacity for empathy can be honed and improved like any other skill.

Does your health monitor have device bias?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The accuracy of health monitoring devices available to consumers varies, and in some instances skin tone may make a difference –– a problem called device bias. Yet proper function of such devices can have significant implications for the health of those using them.

The link between abdominal fat and death: What is the shape of health?

Body mass index is commonly used to assess a person’s weight status and health risk, but it does not indicate how much fat a person has or how it is distributed throughout the body — indicators of metabolic health. A recent study analyzed different measures of body shape to determine which are most predictive of premature death.

Why won’t some health care workers get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccination rates among health care workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been lower than expected. Is this an information problem or does it stem from other issues –– and what can be done?

What’s your approach to health? Check your medicine cabinet

Attitudes toward health –– broadly, maximalist or minimalist –– tend to form early in life and are embedded in our family’s approach to health and well-being. The contents of your medicine cabinet reflect which approach you prefer.

Grandparenting: Anticipating March 11

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

Almost a year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly altered our lives. For grandparents, marking this anniversary with their grandchildren can help them make sense of what they have been through. Start by asking simple questions.

5 myths about endometriosis

While as many as one in 10 American women is affected by endometriosis, it can take years to get a correct diagnosis because the symptoms may mimic other common conditions. And myths about this condition may keep some women from seeking help.

Flowers, chocolates, organ donation — are you in?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

February 14th is more than Valentine’s Day –– it’s also National Donor Day, when health organizations sponsor sign-ups for organ and tissue donation. For those in need, such a donation can be life-changing — or lifesaving. If you wonder what can be donated or how, read on.

Can dust mite allergy be treated with a pill?

For decades, people with an allergy to dust mites took over-the-counter medications for relief, and if those were not effective they could choose to receive a course of immunotherapy shots that lasted years. A newer form of treatment is available in pill form and is taken at home.

Need to revisit screen time?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Restrictions caused by the pandemic have led both adults and children to spend a lot of time on screens. It’s not great for adults, and it’s more of a concern for kids because too much screen time has effects on behavior, learning, and mood. So, what steps can parents take to change this?