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.

10 foods that may impact your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

Researchers examining data from a national health survey and other sources found that consuming too much, or too little, of 10 foods was associated with 45% of deaths in 2012 due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

PrEP prevents HIV — so why aren’t more people taking it?

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily medication taken to prevent HIV infection. While multiple studies show PrEP is effective, relatively few of those who might benefit are taking it. Will a 10-year initiative to reduce rates of HIV and a new formulation of PrEP help?

Chronic Lyme arthritis: A mystery solved?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

About 60% of people infected with Lyme disease develop arthritis, and about 10% of those fail to respond to antibiotic treatment for unknown reasons. A new study has found a likely explanation for this medical mystery.

Study supports benefit of statin use for older adults

Statins are known to be effective in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, but for older adults the guidelines are less clear. A study looking at an older population found that continuing to take statins did have a statistically significant benefit.

Dense breasts on a mammogram? What to know and do

Mammograms look for signs of breast cancer. They can also provide information on whether a woman has high breast density, which slightly increases risk for developing breast cancer. Here’s what you need to know and do if you’re notified about this risk factor.

If you have migraines, put down your coffee and read this

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Sometimes not having coffee can cause a headache, but caffeine is also a trigger for migraine headaches. A small study examining caffeine consumption and migraines found that people who tended to consume more caffeinated beverages were more likely to have a migraine.

Popular heartburn drug ranitidine recalled: What you need to know and do

The maker of a generic version of ranitidine, a heartburn medication taken by millions, announced that it is recalling all of its products sold in the US because of the discovery of low levels of a probable carcinogen in these products.

Is there a test for Alzheimer’s disease?

Wondering whether a blood test or brain scan can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? If memory loss is a problem for you or a loved one, consider these points before discussing potential next steps with a doctor.

Vitiligo: More than skin deep

Approximately 1% of the population has vitiligo, a skin condition in which areas of skin lose their color. While topical treatments and light therapy help some, research with a class of medications not previously used for this condition has shown promising results.

What donor offspring seek when they do DNA testing

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

Readily available DNA testing unexpectedly changed some family trees. But people who grew up knowing –– or recently learned –– they were donor-conceived may have differing reasons for wanting to better understand their personal stories.