Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.

Articles

Close relationships with neighbors influence cardiovascular health in Black adults

Published March 3, 2022

A study of Black adults living in the Atlanta area suggests that feeling rooted in community and socializing with neighbors may strongly contribute to better cardiovascular health, which might lower risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Why play? Early games build bonds and brain

Published February 2, 2023

More than a million nerve connections are made in the brain in the first few years of life. Babies and young children thrive with responsive caregiving, such as engaging a child in playful games that change as they grow.

5 numbers linked to ideal heart health

Updated January 31, 2023

Five numbers give a thumbnail assessment of overall heart health and what factors people might need to address to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. These numbers offer ideal goals for most people, although targets vary for individuals based on age or other health conditions.

Rating the drugs in drug ads

Published January 31, 2023

Drug ads appear everywhere in the US, but how do highly promoted new medications stack up against other available treatments? Aside from cost –– including billions spent on marketing –– there may also be health implications.

Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable

Published July 30, 2021

It’s not unusual for women to feel down or depressed after giving birth, but if the feelings persist or become debilitating, it’s cause for concern. Many of the symptoms overlap between postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, but some women do not respond as well to some treatments for depression, so it’s important to establish the correct diagnosis.

The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?

Published September 19, 2022

Renewed research into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs has led to interest in microdosing — taking a fraction of a regular dose. Many people believe that microdosing can help them, but the evidence from some recent studies is mixed.

Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally

Published January 26, 2023

Burnout — whatever the cause — can lead to depression and anxiety, and affect your relationships and ability to function. But it's possible to replenish your energy and enjoyment of life.

Is pregnancy safe for everyone?

Published January 25, 2023

Simply being pregnant poses significant short-term and long-term risks to health, particularly in the US. Since the Supreme Court overturned a national constitutional right to abortion last year, choices around pregnancy have gotten even more complicated — and more dangerous for some.

New pediatric guidelines on obesity in children and teens

Published January 24, 2023

Rates of obesity in children have more than tripled in the past six decades, and are still climbing. With millions of children and teens at risk for the many complications of obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines for pediatricians.

Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?

Published January 23, 2023

A screening test could save your life, but even the best test has limitations. And as people grow older, the benefits of these tests tend to decline. It’s helpful to understand the limits of screening, and when people can reasonably expect to stop having tests done.

Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health

Published January 20, 2023

Increasingly, floods, fires, and extreme weather stemming from climate change are contributing to large-scale health and safety issues for people everywhere. There are steps you and your family can take to help protect your health.

The case of the bad placebo

Published September 13, 2022

A trial from 2019 showed a medication dramatically reduced triglyceride levels in participants, but subsequent analysis found that the placebo used in the trial may have negatively affected those assigned to take it.

Do we feel pain more at night?

Published January 18, 2023

Chronic pain typically fluctuates during the day and some research suggests that it worsens at night, potentially interfering with sleep. If pain keeps you awake at night, trying these strategies may help you sleep better.

If you use cannabis, do it safely

Published January 17, 2023

Cannabis is legal in a growing number of states for adult recreational or medical use, or both. As access expands, here’s what to know about safely purchasing and using cannabis products.

Time for a diabetes tune-up

Updated January 16, 2023

A major theme of the 2023 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care guide is healthy weight loss. The new guidelines also encourage collaboration on meaningful lifestyle changes that help with sleep and health metric targets.

What are the chances that prostate cancer will return after surgery?

Published January 12, 2023

In some men who have prostate cancer surgery the cancer never returns, while in others it does. A new type of imaging technology indicates the presence of prostate tumors, and researchers wanted to know if this could be used to predict cancer recurrence after treatment.

Who needs treatment for ocular hypertension?

Updated September 22, 2022

High pressure in the eyes puts a person at greater risk of developing glaucoma, but does everyone with higher than normal eye pressure need to be treated? A major long-term study provides some clues.

Winter hiking: Magical or miserable?

Published January 10, 2023

The instinct to stay indoors during winter can start to feel confining after a while. Going for a winter hike is a great way to get out in nature and get exercise, but it’s quite different from warm-weather hiking, and requires preparation and precautions.

When therapeutic touch isn’t healing

Published January 9, 2023

Physical touch has long been linked to the healing process of medicine, but a person’s comfort level with this may depend on their feelings and life experiences. Here’s why touch matters during medical visits, and how to get the care you need while having your wishes respected.

Edibles and children: Poison center calls rise

Updated April 23, 2021

As more states have legalized the use of marijuana and products derived from it, more children are being exposed. Children can’t be trusted not to eat appealing-looking food items they may find, so it’s up to adults to take precautions and make sure edibles are stored where children can’t find them.

Ready to learn CPR?

Published January 5, 2023

When a person’s heart stops beating and they go into cardiac arrest, receiving CPR can double their odds of surviving. And since the majority of cardiac arrests happen at home, knowing the basics of CPR may save the life of a loved one.

Motorcycle rallies and organ donation: A curious connection

Published January 4, 2023

Even though motorcycles are riskier than other modes of transportation, the number of motorcycles registered in the US has doubled in the past 20 years. A study examined whether large gatherings of bikers would lead to more fatal accidents and an increase in rates of organ donation.

 

Low-carb diet helps cut blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes

Published January 3, 2023

A recent study suggests that following a low-carb diet may quickly reduce A1C levels in people with prediabetes. Such a rigorous approach to eating may not be realistic, but cutting even some carbs may lead to weight loss and lower blood sugar.

5 skills teens need in life — and how to encourage them

Published January 25, 2022

All parents want their children to be happy and able to successfully navigate life’s challenges. Five core skills form a great foundation, and while parents can and should support young children in building these skills, encouraging teens to reinforce and refine their skills is important.

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