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

Does running cause arthritis?

It's easy to blame running when a person who runs regularly develops arthritis. But that blame may be misguided. Here's a look at the latest research on the topic.

Is alcohol and weight loss surgery a risky combination?

For people with obesity, weight-loss surgery can reverse or greatly improve many serious health issues, but also leaves people more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder. A new study finds that one type of surgery may increase the dangers of drinking much more than other weight-loss strategies.

Preventing ovarian cancer: Should women consider removing fallopian tubes?

Ovarian cancer, which claims about 13,000 lives each year, is hard to detect in early stages. Recent guidance from professional groups recommends removing fallopian tubes to help prevent ovarian cancer if women are undergoing gynecologic surgery and are finished with childbearing.

Healthier planet, healthier people

As the impacts of climate change on Earth threaten our well-being, the concept of planetary health acknowledges that the ecosystem and our health are inextricably intertwined. While individual efforts may seem small, here are five small steps that help make a difference when taken collectively.

Is snuff really safer than smoking?

The FDA authorized a brand of smokeless tobacco to use language in its advertising claiming that using snuff reduces risk of lung cancer compared to smoking cigarettes. Technically this is true, but it's not the health advantage the product's maker would like consumers to think it is.

Will miscarriage care remain available?

Miscarriage describes a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks. It happens in as many as one in three pregnancies, although the risk gradually decreases as pregnancy progresses. What causes miscarriage? How is it treated? And why is appropriate health care for miscarriage under scrutiny?

Considering collagen drinks and supplements?

Celebrities and influencers claim that consuming collagen could have miraculous benefits for skin, hair, and nails. But what does the science say?

Does less TV time lower your risk for dementia?

More physical activity and less time watching TV is best for the body. But how does television time affect risk for declines in memory and problem-solving ability or risk for developing dementia? Researchers have been digging into these questions.

Helping children who are neurodiverse build friendships

Children with neurodevelopmental conditions like autism spectrum, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities may need extra support in building friendships and participating in social activities. Parents and other adults can help children develop their social and emotional skills.

Preventable liver disease is rising: What you eat — and avoid — counts

Fatty liver disease is a condition caused by irritation to the liver, and one specific type is triggered by metabolic risk factors. Following a healthy diet can prevent or possibly even reverse it.

Drug recalls are common

In the last 10 years, an average of four drug recalls a day have occurred in the US. Drug recalls happen for a number of different reasons, and while they are common, most are not for dangerous or life-threatening issues.

Easy ways to shop for healthful, cost-conscious foods

Healthier eating starts with food shopping, and supermarkets are full of choices that are both nutritious and less so. But trips to a grocery store don't have to feel overwhelming or be budget-blowing; it just takes a little planning, strategy, and thinking ahead.

Prostate cancer in transgender women

The increasing size and visibility of the transgender population has implications for public health. Hormone treatment given to transgender women lowers the overall risk of prostate cancer, but the risk of a trans woman developing the disease is not zero.

Why eat lower on the seafood chain?

Cutting back on red meat and replacing it with poultry or seafood is a good choice because those are healthier sources of protein — and better for the environment. Choosing seafood that is lower on the food chain can amplify those benefits.

Can long COVID affect the gut?

Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19  have experienced lingering effects like low energy and brain fog. Could gastrointestinal problems be another aftereffect of the virus?

Safe, joyful movement for people of all weights

A new study finds that many people with obesity avoid exercising because they fear their weight makes injury more likely. But everyone, at every weight, can find ways to exercise safely, confidently, and joyfully.

Slowing down racing thoughts

Everyone has moments when their brain feels like it's gone haywire. When these racing thoughts take over the mind can't stay focused, feeding into a cycle of anxiety. But there are things you can do to break this cycle and regain control.

3 ways to create community and counter loneliness

Loneliness boosts risk for many health problems, and can even contribute to an early death. Many people find it hard to reach out to make new friends, but there are strategies that can help.

Helping children make friends: What parents can do

The COVID-19 pandemic affected children's developing social skills. Many children either didn't learn the skills they need to make friends — or those skills got rusty. Here are some ways parents can help.

Can electrical brain stimulation boost attention, memory, and more?

Therapies using an electric current for brain stimulation are not new, but marketing devices for home use is a relatively recent phenomenon. While claims include better energy, focus, mood and more, current evidence doesn't support this and the FDA hasn't cleared these devices.

Shift work can harm sleep and health: What helps?

Mounting evidence paints a worrisome picture of the potential health consequences of nontraditional shift work schedules. So how can people who are required to work during the night and sleep during the day protect their health and well-being?

Seeing a surgeon?

A pre-surgery consultation with the surgeon can feel overwhelming. Many people are anxious and have questions about what's to come. Setting the right expectations on both sides can ease anxiety and help define a successful outcome.

Energy-boosting coffee alternatives: What to know

Beverages that promise similar energy perks and health benefits as coffee and tea are growing in popularity. Often marketed as wellness drinks, how do these alternatives stack up nutritionally?

What is frontotemporal dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a brain disorder caused by damage to nerves in certain parts of the brain. It typically affects people in middle age, and is characterized by marked changes in behavior or problems with language.

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