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.

3 simple steps to jump-start your heart health this year

Several habits can improve your heart health (and, as a side effect, may make you less vulnerable to infections like the flu or COVID-19). Focusing on a few of these is an excellent way to take care of your heart — and boost your overall health in the process.

CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution

Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are very popular, promising relief from a wide range of maladies. But if you are considering taking a product containing CBD, be aware that if you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal products, CBD can interact with them and cause unexpected side effects.

Can gout be prevented?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Gout, a debilitating form of arthritis, is on the rise compared with rates in prior decades. Obesity is probably a significant factor in this increase. Now, a new study suggests that three-quarters of gout cases in men might be completely avoidable by following certain protective health habits.

Wondering about COVID-19 vaccines if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, or have recently given birth and are breastfeeding, you may have questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Get informed by consulting trusted health sources, and talk with your medical providers about your options.

Hormonal therapies for advanced prostate cancer linked to a higher risk of falls and fractures

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Falls rank among the top causes of death and injuries among the elderly, and the risk increases significantly in older people being treated for cancer. Now, investigators are reporting that a newer class of drugs for advanced prostate cancer is associated with a significant increase in fall risk. Called androgen receptor inhibitors, or ARIs, these […]

Sexual health and gender-affirming care

Oren Ganor, MD

Contributor

The lived experience of every transgender and gender diverse person (TDG) is unique, as are their approaches to gender affirmation. Some may choose to affirm their gender only socially, or not at all, while others use a variety of medical and surgical procedures to do so. How do certain choices affect sexual health?

COVID-19 and the heart: What have we learned?

Death rates from COVID-19 have dropped significantly since the start of the pandemic, but people with cardiovascular disease are at much higher risk of having a severe form of it. It’s now clearer why this is so, and how the virus can cause heart damage.

We’re supposed to make resolutions now?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

After everything that has happened in 2020, making New Year’s resolutions might be too much to expect of many. Setting goals for the coming year seems like too much to ask right now. Is it okay to just give yourself a break this year? Or is there another way of looking at the whole situation?

3 easy ways to eat a healthier diet

The very best intentions for healthy eating can fail if a new diet is too ambitious or restrictive. Taking small, easy steps toward healthier eating—and taking them one at a time—can help you make lasting changes.

Do pro-inflammatory diets harm our health? And can anti-inflammatory diets help?

Researchers found that people who ate larger quantities of pro-inflammatory foods had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the link between diet and inflammation may help identify specific dietary patterns and foods than can diminish chronic inflammation and improve health.