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.


Mind-body medicine in addiction recovery

Published October 28, 2020

Mind-body medicine, the use of behavioral and lifestyle interventions to address medical problems, is becoming a key component of recovery from addiction. There are now several scientifically-based mind-body medicine options for people in recovery, and promising research on their effectiveness.

What your skin should expect when you’re expecting

Published October 27, 2020

During pregnancy many women experience changes in their skin, some of which can linger for some time after giving birth. Most of these changes are not cause for concern and will improve, and in some cases there are treatments available for them.

Making special education work for your child during COVID-19

Published October 26, 2020

The pandemic has forced parents everywhere to face problems that don’t have clear solutions regarding their children’s schooling. For parents of children with disabilities who receive special education, these concerns are even more challenging, and parental choices are even more difficult.

Aspirin and breast cancer risk: How a wonder drug may become more wonderful

Published October 23, 2020

Over the years, the list of aspirin’s potential benefits has grown: a number of studies suggest that taking aspirin regularly can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Now recent studies suggest that aspirin may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Promoting equity and community health in the COVID-19 pandemic

Published October 22, 2020

At one Boston health care system a range of initiatives aimed at improving health care equity were launched as the pandemic swept forward last spring, taking a disproportionate toll on communities of color. Building on this could prove key as the virus resurges this winter.

Communities of color devastated by COVID-19: Shifting the narrative

Published October 22, 2020

Communities of color, which have long struggled against health disparities, have been affected much more severely by the COVID-19 pandemic than white communities. Now is the time to take stock of misconceptions, mistrust, and missteps that helped fuel infection rates and devastating outcomes last spring.

Illness-related fatigue: More than just feeling tired

Published October 21, 2020

It’s normal to feel tired, especially during the pandemic, and most people are able to push through the feeling and deal with their daily tasks. But fatigue that is caused by a specific illness is different, and it’s important to recognize these differences so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Beyond trick-or-treating: Safe Halloween fun during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published October 20, 2020

Celebrating Halloween by going trick-or-treating or attending a party could be very risky this year. Here are tips to help you and your family stay safe while having fun.

Coping with the loss of smell and taste

Published October 19, 2020

A majority of people with mild or moderate COVID-19 have reported problems with their sense of smell, and a similar percentage reported changes in taste perception. The loss of these senses may be temporary, but it can take as long as a year for them to return, and some people will not regain them at all.

Early, tight control of Crohn’s disease may have lasting benefits

Published October 16, 2020

Treatment options for Crohn’s disease have evolved, and newer drugs are more effective than previously used ones. Researchers examined different approaches to treatment, based on either symptoms alone or combined with objective evidence of inflammation.

Stopping osteoarthritis: Could recent heart research provide a clue?

Published October 15, 2020

Currently no medication can slow the progress of osteoarthritis. And while a reanalysis of a study of people with heart disease suggests a promising approach, more definitive research will be necessary to confirm this.

The tragedy of long COVID

Updated March 1, 2021

Tens of thousands of people in the US have recovered from COVID-19 but continue to experience feelings of exhaustion, little energy, and mental fogginess that linger for months. Known as "post-COVID long haulers," they are grappling with uncertainty surrounding when –– and whether –– their health problems will resolve.

Stress and the heart: Lessons from the pandemic

Published October 14, 2020

Doctors have begun to study the effects of COVID-related stress and anxiety on people. A recent study suggests that stress caused by the pandemic may already be affecting heart health.

Fibromyalgia: Exercise helps — here’s how to start

Published October 13, 2020

For people with fibromyalgia, pain is a part of daily life, and exercising is probably not something they feel like doing. But experts say it’s one of the most effective strategies to help manage the condition. So what’s the best approach to getting started?

Grandparenting: Navigating risk as the pandemic continues

Published October 12, 2020

As the pandemic reshaped lives in March, grandparents had to take heightened safety precautions around seeing their children and grandchildren. With fall here and winter on the way, basic preventive steps have not changed, but some grandparents are finding they need to balance rewards and risk, and that conversations with family members about expectations need to be ongoing.

Cultivating joy as a family

Published October 9, 2020

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but particularly for families. Everyone is feeling so much uncertainty and stress, but one thing we can do is look for ways to create small moments of joy every day. Games, activities, creativity, being outdoors — there are simple, fun ways to be together and make memories.

The hidden long-term cognitive effects of COVID

Updated March 4, 2021

it is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 affects the nervous system along with the respiratory system. Research is suggesting that this may result in long-term neurologic damage in those who survive a COVID infection, including evidence of effects on cognitive function.

Advancing maternal justice on both sides of the Atlantic

Updated October 13, 2020

Inequities in maternal health caused by chronic systemic social injustice contribute directly to higher rates of maternal death among Black and indigenous people and people of color. Maternal justice is a model of culturally sensitive care that aims to dismantle inequities in maternity care and maximize maternal health and well-being.

Why is music good for the brain?

Published October 7, 2020

A study conducted by AARP found correlation between a person’s engagement with music and their opinion of their brain health and cognitive ability. While the study did not involve any objective measure of brain health, music has been shown to activate multiple areas of the brain, and keeping brain pathways active helps keep the brain strong in older age.

New online model identifies which men can have fewer biopsies on active surveillance

Published October 6, 2020

During the last decade, more men with favorable-risk prostate cancer that is unlikely to cause symptoms and spread have opted for a monitoring approach called active surveillance (AS) instead of immediate treatment. AS entails routine PSA checks and prostate tumor biopsies, and the cancer is treated only if it progresses. The approach has some drawbacks, […]

As family well-being declines, so does children’s behavior

Published October 6, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of people who have not been sick, and parents are being hit particularly hard. A survey of US parents found that these worsening circumstances also affect children’s behavior.

How to cope when a loved one is depressed, suicidal, or manic

Published October 5, 2020

The pandemic has caused a surge in depression. If someone you care about is struggling with depression or bipolar disorder, or you have reason to think the person may be suicidal, there are ways you can help — and caring for yourself is important, too.

New guidelines for aches, pains, and strains

Published October 2, 2020

When a minor injury leads to soreness or discomfort, what’s the best first treatment choice? The American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians recently developed new recommendations based on reviews of more than 200 studies involving nearly 33,000 subjects.

Staying positive during difficult times

Published October 1, 2020

The trials and challenges of this year are weighing heavily on many people, but attempting to employ positive psychology to put personal struggles in context, and accepting the ups and downs life brings, can ultimately increase positive feelings and provide perspective.

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