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.

Beyond heart health: Could your statin help prevent liver cancer?

Irun Bhan, MD


Statins have been prescribed for decades to lower cholesterol, but a recent study found that one type of statin may provide people with certain kinds of liver disease protection from developing liver cancer.

The new coronavirus: What we do — and don’t — know

Todd Ellerin, MD


A novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has grown quickly since late December. This primer on what we do –– and don’t –– know can help if you’re concerned about this rapidly evolving public health issue.

Think hard before shaming children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents may offer what they think is constructive criticism to a child, but there is a fine line between criticism and shaming, and shaming can have lasting effects on a child’s self-esteem.

The hype on hyaluronic acid

A variety of beauty and skincare products now contain hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the body that retains moisture. But what benefits do these products offer, and are they worth using?

What can you do to reduce the risk of birth defects?

Huma Farid, MD


Women who are hoping to become pregnant want to do everything they can to ensure that their babies will be as healthy as possible, which means following recommendations to minimize the possibility of birth defects.

Is your cell phone dangerous to your health?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Plenty of us use our phones in situations when we probably should be paying more attention. But how often does this behavior lead to actual injury? A data analysis offers some answers.

LDL cholesterol: How low can you (safely) go?

Lowering LDL cholesterol has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have suggested that more aggressive goals for LDL levels in people who already have CVD can decrease risk even further.

Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Researchers examining dietary data from over 50,000 postmenopausal women found that women who ate foods with a higher glycemic index, and foods with more added sugars, were more likely to have insomnia.

Diabetic retinopathy: Understanding diabetes-related eye disease and vision loss

Leo Kim, MD, PhD


Over seven million people have diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of vision loss in working-age adults with diabetes. It’s recommended that people with diabetes should work to keep blood pressure in the normal range and their A1c level below 7% to avoid complications such as diabetic retinopathy.

Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery

Regular marijuana users who need surgery should disclose their use ahead of the procedure, because of its effects on the body and on the anesthesia medications required for sedation.