Health care disparities

Metabolic syndrome is on the rise: What it is and why it matters

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Because metabolic syndrome boosts the risk of developing several serious health problems, a troubling rise in rates of occurrence of metabolic syndrome among certain segments of the US population is of great concern.

Envisioning food security: Steps we take now can help

Along with historically high unemployment rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant increase in food insecurity for millions of Americans, and this problem disproportionately affects lower-income people and racial and ethnic minorities. Temporary measures have helped a bit to ease the situation, and new proposals could do more.

Can a daily pill lighten heavy menstrual bleeding caused by fibroids?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Many women develop benign uterine fibroids, which may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, a problem that may be more severe among Black women. A new daily medication approved by the FDA may help some women by lightening blood loss during monthly periods.

Making telemedicine more inclusive

As coronavirus cases multiplied, many medical offices and clinics shifted to seeing patient virtually through telemedicine. While its value quickly became obvious, virtual visits are not optimal for everyone who needs health care. Awareness of limitations can help care providers improve access to their services.

Global mental health in the time of COVID-19

The singular focus of health care services on COVID-19 has disrupted mental health care, and people with new or existing issues are having difficulty accessing much-needed care. A global initiative launched at Harvard Medical School aims to rectify this situation and transform global mental health.

COVID-19 and the LGBTQ+ community: Rising to unique challenges

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, the LGBTQ+ community faces specific difficulties that add stress to the situation. The resources gathered here can help.

A tale of two epidemics: When COVID-19 and opioid addiction collide

In our inner cities, the COVID-19 pandemic comes on top of another crisis that has plagued our country for years: the opioid epidemic. The combined effects of these two events are immense, and highlight already-existing problems with our society and our health care system.

Opportunities for growth: Transitions for youth with autism spectrum disorder

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

For young people with autism spectrum disorder, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is marked by changes in many areas of their lives. Healthcare providers and caregivers can make this transition smoother and help their patients meet these challenges.

What’s in a number? Looking at life expectancy in the US

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

Between 1959 and 2014, average life expectancy in the United States rose astoundingly by nearly a decade. Then it began declining. A recent report examining this situation raises tough questions about that unexpected change.

How racism harms children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement regarding the “socially transmitted disease” of racism. Its negative effects harm children in multiple areas, including education, health care, employment, and the justice system.