Health

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

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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

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

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

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

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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

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

Sarah Flier, MD

Contributor

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.

The tragedy of the post-COVID “long haulers”

Anthony Komaroff, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

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.

Stopping osteoarthritis: Could recent heart research provide a clue?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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.

Stress and the heart: Lessons from the pandemic

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.