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.

The plight of nursing home residents in a pandemic

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Many nursing homes have had high rates of illness and deaths from COVID-19 and efforts to keep residents safer have caused widespread isolation. As states loosen restrictions, what does the path forward look like?

Olive oil or coconut oil: Which is worthy of kitchen-staple status?

Coconut oil has been championed as having many benefits to health, but evidence to support these assertions remains sparse. However, there is far more evidence to support the benefits of olive oil, even in the context of typical American diets.

Summer’s here, teens and parents — now what?

For many teens, summer activities like jobs, internships, and camps are probably on hold this year, and a sense of uncertainty hovers over nearly everything. How can parents guide teens and help them flourish while also keeping them safe?

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.

New drugs approved for advanced BRCA-positive prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Defective BRCA genes are well known for their ability to cause breast and ovarian cancers in women. But these same gene defects are also strong risk factors for aggressive prostate cancer in men. About 10% of men with metastatic prostate cancer — meaning cancer that is spreading away from the prostate — test positive for […]

Treating mild sleep apnea: Should you consider a CPAP device?

Obstructive sleep apnea affects an estimated 20% of the population, and if untreated it has negative effects on cardiac and metabolic health as well as quality of life. If the condition is moderate or severe, a CPAP machine is the first-line treatment, but there is less consensus about treatment of mild OSA.

How to stock a plant-based pantry (and fridge) on a budget

Uma Naidoo, MD

Contributor

Given the economic stresses stemming from the current pandemic situation, many of us are trying to maintain healthy eating habits while also spending less. Adjusting your food purchases to include more plant-based choices can help your health and your budget.

Driving across the country in a pandemic

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Driving halfway across the country may not seem enticing these days, but at the moment traveling by car is arguably safer than traveling by plane. If you’re considering a road trip, some planning will make things easier — and safer.

Better heart health in eight weeks? Double down on fruits and veggies

Want to improve heart health? New research based on blood samples from the original DASH diet shows the DASH diet and another diet high in fruits and veggies can lower measures of heart strain and heart muscle damage within eight weeks.

Helping people with autism spectrum disorder manage masks and COVID-19 tests

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many new challenges for people with autism spectrum disorder. Adapting to wearing face masks and the experience of a COVID-19 test are particularly challenging, but there are strategies that can help these individuals meet the challenges.