Recent Blog Articles
Scoring highly on Alternative Healthy Eating Index lowers risk for many illnesses
Can self-employment promote better cardiovascular health for women?
Why is it so challenging to find a primary care physician?
Harvard Health Ad Watch: A new injection treatment for eczema
3 simple swaps for better heart health
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Asking about guns in houses where your child plays
Behavioral weight loss interventions: Do they work in primary care?
Who needs treatment for ocular hypertension?
The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?
Harvard Health Blog
Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.
Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?
Thanks to vaccination, the US has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this disease has been interrupted in most countries. But worldwide eradication of polio has been elusive, and traces of the virus were recently found in wastewater in London.
Recognizing and preventing sun allergies
No one is truly allergic to the sun, but some people may develop mild to serious reactions after spending time in the sun, especially if they have not been exposed to sunlight during winter. The most common "sun allergy" is polymorphous light eruption, an autoimmune condition of the skin.
Corneal transplants becoming more common
While not as routine as cataract surgery, corneal transplants are becoming more common. A number of things can go wrong with the cornea, especially as people get older, and a partial-thickness or full-thickness transplant can restore vision.
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Active surveillance allows men with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer to avoid temporarily the side effects of invasive therapies, but men often feel anxious about their cancer. Emerging evidence suggests there may be a middle path between no treatment and aggressive therapies.
Gun violence: A long-lasting toll on children and teens
As discussion and debate continues on mass shootings there is increasing evidence that growing up amidst this violence and other extreme stressors affect developing brains and bodies in ways that can be permanent.
Adult female acne: Why it happens and the emotional toll
Women are more likely to get acne after age 20 than men. Unfortunately, treatment options that worked in the teenage years may not work as well in adult females. The emotional toll of acne may include a higher risk of developing depression, and having severe acne can negatively affect quality of life.
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
There is no way to prepare for the many shades of grief, which can lead to illness as well as distress. While each person navigates grief differently, the experience of others and broad advice on how to cope may offer comfort.
Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks
Thunderstorm asthma is an attack that starts or worsens after a thunderstorm. It can occur in anyone with asthma, but it most often affects people with seasonal allergies. There are several risk factors that make experiencing this phenomenon more likely, so it's important to know what these are.
Heart problems and the heat: What to know and do
High temperatures raise risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and also stress the cardiovascular system, making the heart work harder. If you have a heart condition, here’s how to keep cool and protect yourself when temperatures rise.
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are something we think of as diseases of old age. Memory loss is a common symptom, and something that people in midlife also experience — but young onset dementia is very uncommon.
Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?
Low back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide. A recent review of dozens of studies suggests that combining physical therapy with psychological approaches to treating pain led to better overall results in improvement of pain.
Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and rates are rising, particularly in younger people. It can be prevented with screening tests; there are several different types of tests that are performed in different ways, and guidelines for when testing should begin and how often people should be tested.
Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
As more US states have legalized recreational cannabis or passed medical cannabis laws, public perception that cannabis is a harmless substance is growing. But its long-term benefits and risks remain unclear, and research has revealed consistently that heavy long-term cannabis use can affect cognition in midlife.
If climate change keeps you up at night, here's how to cope
Climate anxiety is distress related to worries about how the effects of climate change. It’s more likely to affect adolescents and young adults, leading to chronic stress, depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and more. What can you do to manage climate anxiety in yourself or a young person in your life?
Year three of the pandemic is underway: Now what?
Despite how it may sometimes seem, the COVID-19 pandemic is very much still with us. This is a good time to pause and assess where we are now and what you need to know about vaccines, boosters, and other measures to help you stay well.
Struggling with migraine hangovers? Read this
Migraines can last hours or days and span several distinct phases. A post-headache phase leaves as many as four out of five migraine sufferers feeling like they have a hangover. Experts recommend different approaches to help ward off lingering symptoms depending on their intensity.
Younger adults with kidney disease struggle with health disparities
Chronic kidney disease affects an estimated 37 million people in the US. If caught and treated early, serious problems can be avoided. But research suggests barriers to care are highest for Black and Hispanic people with advanced kidney disease, and also for younger adults.
Ring vaccination might help curtail monkeypox outbreaks
The monkeypox outbreak currently traveling around the globe is the largest ever recorded outside of western and central Africa. Controlling this virus demands preventive measures, and one method that has worked to contain previous disease outbreaks may be effective for monkeypox as well.
Weight stigma: As harmful as obesity itself?
Weight stigma is discrimination based on a person’s weight, and it can lead to poor health and increased weight gain. One way to combat weight stigma is to use person-first language, and it’s also important for health care providers to make sure they are not perpetuating this stigma when dealing with patients.
Considering pregnancy and have lupus? Plan ahead
In the past, people with lupus were advised to avoid pregnancy because doctors believed it was too risky. That’s no longer true: in most cases, following expert guidelines can make a successful pregnancy possible. It’s wise to think ahead, and to be aware of some important issues.
Some men whose prostate cancer progresses can safely delay treatment
Prostate cancer can progress over long durations, and if a man’s tumor has features that predict slow growth, he can opt for active surveillance instead of immediate treatment. But when the time for treatment comes, up to a third of men still decide against it. Now, a new study finds that for some of these men, treatment can be safely delayed.
Heart-healthy habits for children and teens lengthen lives
Researchers who began collecting data on thousands of people, starting when they were children and following up decades later, found that five risk factors influence health outcomes in adulthood. Parents should know the important steps they can take to get their children started toward healthy lives as adults.
Monkeypox: An unfamiliar virus spreading fast — sound familiar?
More than two years after COVID-19 reached the US, an outbreak of monkeypox is spreading fast outside of Africa. This virus is not new, and it’s likely to be less dangerous than COVID, but it’s still important to be aware of its symptoms, spread, treatment, and prevention.
Diabetes: Does a long-term study reinforce or change approaches to prevention?
Over two decades ago, the Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that type 2 diabetes could be slowed or even prevented in people with early signs of it. Now, a long-term follow-up study focusing on death rates from several causes has produced some surprising results.
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