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

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.

When can women with early-stage breast cancer skip radiation after lumpectomy?

Published September 15, 2022

Current guidelines for women under 65 with early-stage breast cancer recommend following lumpectomy with radiation therapy, but emerging research could expand the option of skipping radiation to some women as young as 55.

Palliative care frightens some people: Here’s how it helps

Published September 14, 2022

Palliative care is a medical specialty meant to help people during many different stages of health. Many people who might benefit from palliative care do not receive it; if more people understand it, more people can take advantage of it.

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.

Taking up adaptive sports

Published September 12, 2022

Our abilities may change during the course of a lifetime. Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational activities that are modified to support people living with disabilities or limitations.

Prostate cancer: Radiation therapy elevates risk for future cancers

Published September 9, 2022

A standard treatment for localized prostate cancer is radiation, but there is a risk that it can lead to secondary cancers forming in the body later. Now, a large study of men treated with current radiation delivery methods clarifies that the amount of risk is low, but real.

Monkeypox: What parents need to know

Published September 8, 2022

Few cases of monkeypox have occurred in children during this outbreak, and while the illness is usually mild, it’s important for parents to know how to recognize and prevent this virus.

Have a gas stove? How to reduce pollution that may harm health

Published September 7, 2022

Cooking with gas stoves releases nitrogen dioxide and gas appliances introduce other toxic chemicals into homes, but people can take steps to protect their household and help improve outdoor air quality, too.

Proton-pump inhibitors: Should I still be taking this medication?

Published September 6, 2022

Proton-pump inhibitors are a commonly prescribed anti-acid medication, but new guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association recommend that they should be taken at the lowest dose and shortest duration for the condition being treated.

How good is your cardiometabolic health — and what is that, anyway?

Published August 18, 2022

An analysis shows less than 7% of adults in the US meet the criteria for optimal cardiometabolic health. Taking small steps to help control and improve key risk factors can reduce the odds of a heart attack or stroke.

Poison ivy: Scratchin’ like a hound?

Published August 17, 2022

Misconceptions about poison ivy are common — from when you can get it to how you might get it, and the best ways to treat it. Knowing the facts can help you avoid it, or treat it properly if you are exposed to it.

Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?

Published August 16, 2022

The adoption of technology has grown rapidly among older adults, and with it have come potential benefits to mental health, daily functioning, and quality of life. Those who want to help an older person in their life might suggest one of the many options available.

Opioid addiction and overdoses are increasingly harming Black communities

Published August 15, 2022

The ongoing opioid epidemic in the US has been perceived as an issue that mostly affects white people in rural areas, but a recently published report from the CDC shows that the epidemic is now disproportionately affecting Black people.

Hand pain from arthritis? This may help

Published August 11, 2022

The joint connecting the thumb and wrist is crucial in everyday activities like opening jars or grasping objects, but if osteoarthritis develops, treatment options are limited and don’t always work well. A new study has demonstrated the effectiveness of occupational therapy for arthritis in this joint of the hand.

Polio: What parents need to know now

Updated August 23, 2022

Recent news reports about cases of polio have some parents concerned about the illness. The vaccine is safe and remarkably effective, and widespread vaccination builds herd immunity.

Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression: When and where is it safe?

Published August 9, 2022

Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic, and in 2019 an inhaled version of it was approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression. But it is generally prescribed only when other treatments have not been effective.

Have lupus? What to know about birth control

Published August 8, 2022

An estimated 7% of Americans have an autoimmune disorder, and these tend to disproportionately affect women. Expert guidelines can help with questions about the best birth control options for people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

Travel tummy troubles: Here’s how to prevent or soothe them

Published August 4, 2022

Digestive troubles are no one’s idea of fun, but having them occur while traveling or vacationing is even worse. Here’s a closer look at three common digestive upsets, how to prevent them, and what to do if you have one.

Easy, delicious summer veggie meals will help stretch your food budget

Published August 3, 2022

Summertime offers a great variety of fresh vegetables. Making vegetables the focus of a meal has many health benefits, and anyone can take advantage of this by preparing them in simple yet delicious ways.

Tracking viruses: The best clues may be in the sewer

Published August 2, 2022

It's hard to accurately predict when new viral outbreaks will appear or old viruses will reappear and how to figure this out quickly enough to respond quickly. Wastewater testing, a tool that can help predict upticks in COVID cases, has also captured evidence of infectious diseases like polio, allowing preventive measures to be taken.

Promising therapy if PSA rises after prostate cancer surgery

Published August 1, 2022

After a man has had a radical prostatectomy, sometimes the level of the antigen PSA rises again later, meaning cancer may have returned. A study found that the normal therapy given when this happens is more effective when combined with other forms of treatment.

Should you try intermittent fasting for weight loss?

Published July 28, 2022

Intermittent fasting is limiting the window of time each day when a person eats. It has become popular as a weight loss tool, so people want to know if it’s effective and whether it can work for them, and a recent study attempted to provide some answers.

Why are you taking a multivitamin?

Published July 27, 2022

One in three Americans takes a daily multivitamin even though research shows this doesn't provide any meaningful health benefits for most people. And because of the way supplements are regulated, some supplements make claims that have no evidence behind them.

Could eating fish increase your risk of cancer?

Published July 26, 2022

A new study found a higher risk of melanoma among people who ate the most fish, but limitations of this research mean it’s premature to draw any conclusions about a relationship between eating fish and melanoma risk.

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