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

COVID-19 vaccines and the LGBTQ+ community

Updated May 1, 2021

A history of discrimination in multiple settings, including health care, may make some people who identify as LGBTQ+ hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, even though the virus has disproportionately harmed this community. If you're struggling to make a decision, this may help you consider benefits and risks.

Polycystic ovary syndrome and the skin

Published April 29, 2021

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of infertility in women. In many cases, women with PCOS have skin and hair issues such as acne, hair loss, or excessive hair growth in places where they normally do not have hair. Treatment options vary depending on the symptoms and each woman’s preferences.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome and the skin

Updated April 29, 2021

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of infertility in women. In many cases, women with PCOS have skin and hair issues such as acne, hair loss, or excessive hair growth in places where they normally do not have hair. Treatment options vary depending on the symptoms and each woman’s preferences.

Dental appliances for sleep apnea: Do they work?

Published April 28, 2021

Obstructive sleep apnea leaves people tired, but also puts them at risk for other health problems. Not everyone with sleep apnea can use an airway pressure machine, and some may simply prefer not to. There are oral appliances available, but are they effective?

Terrified of needles? That can affect your health

Published April 27, 2021

No one likes being stuck by a needle, and it’s not unusual for a person to be afraid of needles. If it’s serious enough, this phobia can affect quality of life and overall health — an especially important concern with vaccination available for COVID-19. But there are ways to cope with the problem.

Life expectancy: How can we address uneven declines?

Updated April 26, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic helped lower life expectancy among all individuals in the US, and this impact has been worse in communities of color. Longstanding systemic failings lead to worse quality of life and poorer health in these communities, but we can all take steps to improve this situation.

Edibles and children: Poison center calls rise

Published 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.

Pills and the planet: Environmentally-friendly steps for your medicine cabinet

Published April 22, 2021

The key factor causing climate change is greenhouse gas emissions, and the health care industry plays a significant role, with drugs and chemicals being the biggest contributor. While the benefits of medications to the world can’t be overstated, here’s how to balance the need for them with concern for the environment.

Diet, disease, and the microbiome

Published April 21, 2021

A healthy microbiome — the genes of tiny organisms living in the digestive tract — helps protect its human host from chronic diseases. Researchers do not yet fully understand the connection, but it appears that eating unprocessed plant-based foods allows the gut microbiome to thrive.

Want healthy eyes? What to know at 40 and beyond

Published April 20, 2021

While eye problems can affect people of any age, some conditions become more common after age 40. Some are normal, or at least expected; others are of greater concern and will require treatment. Here’s how to keep your eyes healthy and address certain problems.

Could COVID-19 infection be responsible for your depressed mood or anxiety?

Updated May 25, 2021

We are still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain, but we know that the pandemic has resulted in worsening mental health for many people. A new study confirmed that COVID-19 infection increased the risk of developing psychiatric disorders.

Are antidepressants also pain relievers?

Published April 16, 2021

Antidepressant medications are frequently prescribed for chronic pain, particularly neck or low back pain and certain types of arthritis — though other treatments are usually tried first. An analysis of past research considered how effective antidepressants are for these types of pain, but the results are not encouraging.

Anti-Asian racism: Breaking through stereotypes and silence

Updated April 16, 2021

On top of the unprecedented strains that COVID-19 has has placed on all of us, Asian Americans have confronted skyrocketing rates of discrimination, verbal assaults, and physical violence. The cumulative burden of these incidents contributes to mental and emotional trauma, even among those not directly attacked.

Can some postmenopausal women with breast cancer skip chemotherapy?

Published April 15, 2021

Advances in breast cancer research have led to more personalized treatments, based on subtyping and more sophisticated testing. A risk assessment test can predict that some women do not need chemotherapy but will benefit from hormone therapy, and who might benefit more from both treatments.

Stress may be getting to your skin, but it’s not a one-way street

Published April 14, 2021

In addition to everything else associated with stress, it can have negative effects on the skin, and can also aggravate certain skin conditions. But skin and hair also produce stress-inducing signals that can travel back to the brain, adding to psychological stress and perpetuating a stress cycle.

The art of a heartfelt apology

Published April 13, 2021

If you have upset someone, the best way to rectify the situation is by making a sincere, heartfelt apology. But just saying the words isn’t quite enough: for an apology to be effective, it has to be genuine. You have to mean it, and you have to make that clear.

How is treatment for myasthenia gravis evolving?

Published April 12, 2021

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare neuromuscular disease that impairs the transmission of nerve signals to muscles, causing temporary weakness of affected muscles. While treatment is complex, recently updated guidelines have added to the understanding of MG and are improving approaches to treatment.

Sleep, stress, or hormones? Brain fog during perimenopause

Updated April 9, 2021

During perimenopause, some women notice that they are having trouble focusing or are more forgetful. Are sleep disturbances, stress, or hormones behind this brain fog –– and what can you do to feel less foggy?

Black peer support: A role in mental health recovery

Published April 8, 2021

Peer support groups in mental health allow people with similar lived experiences to listen, share, and encourage one another. A Black peer support group created around race and culture as well as mental health may offer a safe space that allows people to address aspects of shared identity and experiences around racism with others who understand their daily reality.

What’s new in the updated asthma guidelines?

Published April 7, 2021

Recent updates to asthma management guidelines produced by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program reflect advances in understanding of the mechanisms that cause asthma and current best practices to manage asthma symptoms.

Women, alcohol, and COVID-19

Updated April 6, 2021

Excessive alcohol use is a common response to coping with stress, but the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate effect on women. There are medical and psychiatric consequences of increased alcohol use that women need to be aware of.

Do vitamin D, zinc, and other supplements help prevent COVID-19 or hasten healing?

Published April 5, 2021

Certain vitamins and supplements have long been promoted as having benefits for the immune system, which has led some to believe they may have similar effects on COVID-19 — and some doctors have been prescribing them. But so far, study results have not been encouraging.

An emerging treatment option for men with recurring prostate cancer after radiation therapy

Published April 2, 2021

Prostate cancer is often a multifocal disease, meaning that several tumors can be present in different parts of gland at the same time. Not all of these tumors are equally problematic, however. And it’s increasingly thought that the tumor with the most aggressive features — called the index lesion — dictates how a man’s cancer […]

Want to improve your memory? Get a good night’s sleep!

Published April 2, 2021

Sleep is important for your memory, as the brain uses the time you are sleeping to process new information and consolidate it for later recall. If you are tired from a lack of sleep, it’s more difficult to pay attention, and attention is necessary to good memory function.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.