Recent Blog Articles
Sugar: How sweet it is... or is it?
Cardiovascular safety from prostate cancer drugs remains uncertain
Rising alcohol use among older adults
Easily distracted? Try meditation
Harvard Health Ad Watch: Can a wearable device reduce stress?
Listening to your hunger cues
Does your child need to bathe every day?
Can flavonoids help fend off forgetfulness?
Can physical or cognitive activity prevent dementia?
Wondering how much your medical care will cost? New rules could help
Harvard Health Blog
Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.
We’re supposed to make resolutions now?
Published January 5, 2021
After everything that has happened in 2020, making New Year’s resolutions might be too much to expect of many. Setting goals for the coming year seems like too much to ask right now. Is it okay to just give yourself a break this year? Or is there another way of looking at the whole situation?
Do pro-inflammatory diets harm our health? And can anti-inflammatory diets help?
Published December 23, 2020
Researchers found that people who ate larger quantities of pro-inflammatory foods had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the link between diet and inflammation may help identify specific dietary patterns and foods than can diminish chronic inflammation and improve health.
The health effects of too much gaming
Published December 22, 2020
While playing video games can be a fun pastime, and there are some potential benefits, there are health risks associated with too much gaming. They include repetitive stress injuries, vision problems, sleep deprivation, depression, and possibly addiction to playing.
Making the most of physical activity apps
Published December 21, 2020
Most people know exercise is good for their health, but only about half of Americans meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Making exercising more fun helps keep people interested, and research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between using activity apps and increased engagement in exercise.
Good news: Deaths due to HIV are way down
Published December 18, 2020
A new study cites a remarkable decline in deaths due to HIV infection, and dramatically fewer new cases of HIV infection in the US over the past decade. But there is still a long way to go before declaring victory over HIV/AIDS.
New high-resolution imaging scans approved for use in prostate cancer
Published December 17, 2020
Imagine trying to find a single match from a book of matches in a large room. Not an easy task, right? But if the lights were dimmed and the match was lit, then its location would be immediately apparent. This is the basic idea behind PSMA imaging, a newly approved method for detecting prostate cancer […]
Choosing joy during difficult times
Published December 17, 2020
As this year’s challenges and stressors have piled up, many people have found it increasingly difficult to find any joy in their lives. A good portion of our happiness is related to our own attitudes and actions, and the actions of others can show us how to find contentment, happiness — even joy— in the most difficult of times.
Executive function in children: Why it matters and how to help
Published December 16, 2020
Although executive function skills begin to develop in the first year of life, the time at which children reach these milestones varies. Some children experience challenges or delays related to their executive function skills, but these skills can be improved through evidence-based interventions.
Holiday jangle: Tricky conversations around COVID safety with family and friends
Published December 15, 2020
Many of us are facing new and challenging conversations with family and friends about travel, gatherings, and COVID safety precautions over the holidays and beyond. Here’s how to successfully communicate your own needs while still showing loved ones that you care about them.
Shingles: What triggers this painful, burning rash?
Published December 14, 2020
If you have chickenpox as a child, the virus stays in your body, and can emerge later in life as a painful, burning rash called shingles. It’s not fully understood what triggers a resurgence of the virus, but factors that weaken the immune system increase the risk of developing shingles, and it is more common in people over age 60.
Magnets, sound, and batteries: Choosing safe toys
Published December 11, 2020
When choosing gifts for the children in your life this year, there are toy you should consider — creativity, imagination, and movement should be encouraged — and toys you should try to avoid due to safety concerns or for other reasons.
Grandparents as scribes of the pandemic
Published December 11, 2020
Since children’s memories of the pandemic are likely to fade, or be forgotten entirely, grandparents have the opportunity to offer them a legacy of sorts by making the effort to record their own personal thoughts about their experiences during this time.
Why are mRNA vaccines so exciting?
Published December 10, 2020
The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that could soon be available to treat COVID-19 are mRNA vaccines, which have never before been approved to treat any disease. How do these differ from other types of vaccines, and how were they developed?
Will eating more chilis help you live longer?
Published December 10, 2020
A new report suggests eating chili peppers regularly could lower the risk of dying of cancer or cardiovascular disease. One theory attributes such health benefits to capsaicin, an antioxidant that brings the heat. But just how strong are these findings?
Do thunderstorms worsen asthma and COPD symptoms?
Published December 9, 2020
Weather affects respiratory function, but many of its effects remain unclear. Researchers analyzed Medicare claims to determine whether storms led to an increase in emergency room visits related to asthma and COPD.
Stiff and achy in the mornings? How to fix that
Published December 8, 2020
Often, feeling stiff and a little achy when you wake or during the day is related to periods of inactivity, perhaps while sleeping or parked in front of a computer. To counteract this, plan frequent movement breaks and try these stretches focusing on stiff or achy areas.
How to give yourself — and others — a break
Updated December 11, 2020
21 spices for healthy holiday foods
Published December 4, 2020
The holiday season is probably the hardest time of year to resist rich, indulgent foods, but too many salty, fatty, sugary choices can harm your health. Instead, try adding natural flavor to holiday foods with herbs and spices, many of which contain substances that have a beneficial effect on health.
Gender fluidity: What it means and why support matters
Published December 3, 2020
Gender fluidity refers to changes over time in gender identity and gender expression. For many people, gender identity and expression develop early and stay the same; for others, one or both may change. Understanding and supporting young people exploring gender is important to their emotional and physical well-being.
Aggressive hypertension treatment does not lead to dangerous drops in blood pressure
Published December 2, 2020
There has been concern that treating high blood pressure too aggressively could result in blood pressure dropping too much, to a level that could be dangerous. An analysis of studies found that this did not occur, and in fact intensive hypertension treatment actually reduced the risk of such a drop in blood pressure.
Treating neuropathy: Which medication is best?
Published December 1, 2020
Millions of people suffer from the burning, tingling, and numbness of a form of neuropathy called idiopathic sensory polyneuropathy. A recent study directly comparing four medications produced disappointing results, but is a step in the right direction.
How to avoid a relapse when things seem out of control
Published November 30, 2020
This year has been extremely stressful for everyone, and that stress can lead to harmful habits. For those working to stay in recovery from an addiction, the challenge is even more profound. Those in this situation know that the more stressful things are, the more important it is to practice the healthy habits that sustain recovery.
Moody quaranteen? What parents should watch for and do
Updated November 30, 2020