Archive for January, 2020

Hearing loss may affect brain health

James Naples, MD


Research into a possible connection between age-related hearing loss and brain function found that there is an association, with subjects 50 or older showing signs of cognitive decline even before reaching clinically defined hearing loss.

Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity: What’s the difference, and why does it matter?

Many people have experienced unpleasant symptoms related to food, but such a reaction does not necessarily mean that you have a food allergy. The symptoms could indicate a food intolerance, food sensitivity, or possibly celiac disease.

Are you getting enough sleep… or too much? Sleep and stroke risk

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Could sleeping too much be bad for you? Possibly. A study found that people who slept more than nine hours a night and took long daytime naps, or who reported poor-quality sleep, were much more likely to have a stroke than those who slept eight hours or less a night.

How safe is exercise during pregnancy?

Emily Reiff, MD


While women often have questions about exercise during pregnancy, it is usually not only safe but encouraged because it can help with weight gain, lower risk for certain conditions, and boost mood and psychological well-being.

Beyond heart health: Could your statin help prevent liver cancer?

Irun Bhan, MD


Statins have been prescribed for decades to lower cholesterol, but a recent study found that one type of statin may provide people with certain kinds of liver disease protection from developing liver cancer.

The new coronavirus: What we do — and don’t — know

Todd Ellerin, MD


A novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has grown quickly since late December. This primer on what we do –– and don’t –– know can help if you’re concerned about this rapidly evolving public health issue.

Think hard before shaming children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents may offer what they think is constructive criticism to a child, but there is a fine line between criticism and shaming, and shaming can have lasting effects on a child’s self-esteem.

The hype on hyaluronic acid

A variety of beauty and skincare products now contain hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the body that retains moisture. But what benefits do these products offer, and are they worth using?

What can you do to reduce the risk of birth defects?

Huma Farid, MD


Women who are hoping to become pregnant want to do everything they can to ensure that their babies will be as healthy as possible, which means following recommendations to minimize the possibility of birth defects.

Is your cell phone dangerous to your health?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Plenty of us use our phones in situations when we probably should be paying more attention. But how often does this behavior lead to actual injury? A data analysis offers some answers.