Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publishing and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

Trouble with crossword puzzles? Improve your semantic memory

Semantic memory is your store of factual knowledge and the meanings of words. It also helps you recall nonverbal concepts and relationships between words and concepts. And while some aspects of memory may decline with age, semantic memory does not.

Medications as effective as stents for most with coronary artery disease

A recent study found that for most people with stable coronary artery disease, a conservative treatment strategy was just as effective as a more invasive approach involving cardiac catheterization and stent placement.

Got children? How to get out the door on time

Having trouble getting younger kids ready to leave home on time in the morning? Try these strategies to motivate them to accomplish morning-routine tasks.

Psoriasis and cancer: What’s the link?

Dominic Wu, MD

Contributing Editor

An analysis of studies found an association between people with psoriasis and an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. While this does not establish a definitive link, psoriasis is a relatively common condition and those who have it should be aware of its implications.

The complicated relationship between fish oil and heart health

The American Heart Association recommends that people with heart disease should take omega-3 fatty acids to prevent another heart attack, but research on taking them to prevent a first heart attack or stroke has been mixed. Will fish oil supplements reduce your risk of heart disease?

Can monitoring blood pressure at home cut maternal mortality?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition marked by hypertension that affects some women during late pregnancy or early weeks after birth. Rising rates of high blood pressure and maternal age increase risk for it. A recent study finds monitoring blood pressure at home may help.

Most men can hold off on radiation after prostate cancer surgery

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Decisions about follow-up care after prostate cancer surgery sometimes involve a basic choice. If the cancer had features that predict it could return, doctors will likely recommend radiation therapy. But when should a man get that treatment? Should he get the radiation right away, even if there’s no evidence of cancer in the body (this […]

How to talk to children about the serious illness of a loved one

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Talking to a child about a loved one’s illness is not easy, but it’s important to be truthful and not shield a child from the facts. While the specifics will depend on the child, thinking through what to say and how to say it will help parents deal with the situation.

Could white-coat hypertension harm your heart?

People who have elevated blood pressure readings in a doctor’s office but normal readings elsewhere are said to have white-coat hypertension. A new study suggests that people with this condition face a greater risk of heart disease than those whose blood pressure is always normal.

Will a purpose-driven life help you live longer?

A study found that people who felt they had purpose in life were more likely to live longer than those who did not. Having a life purpose might lessen stress and inspire people to invest in their health. Wishing for purpose? A few strategies may help.