This page shows you the latest items in this publication.

Total 3155404 results found since Jan 2013.

Getting kids back to school: Inside out
In our article Meet Your Inner Family, we introduced the new Harvard Health book: Organize your Emotions, Optimize Your Life, which can be described as an adult version of the Pixar movie Inside Out. We propose that the human psyche has nine life forces speaking as our inner “voices.” This framework can help optimize many situations and challenges in life, from the routine (like back to school) to the more complex. Here’s what a child’s nine inner family members might say about going back to school, and how parents might coach them into more harmony and thriving: Autonomy:   Boy, have I had fun. I feel free in...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - August 25, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Margaret Moore, MBA Tags: Behavioral Health Mental Health Parenting Source Type: news

Get up, stand up, for your health: A little exercise offsets a lot of sitting
A solid body of scientific evidence strongly suggests that the more time a person spends sitting, the higher their risk of death from any cause. Multiple large studies and high-quality data analyses show that regardless of age or health issues, the hours we spend in our office chairs, cars, or on the sofa watching television can literally kill us. But if our jobs require us to be at a desk or behind the wheel for long shifts, what can we do? Are we destined to die earlier than landscapers, baristas, and construction workers? Should we all quit and seek an occupation that will allow us to be on our feet instead? Maybe I sho...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - August 18, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Monique Tello, MD, MPH Tags: Exercise and Fitness Health Healthy Aging Prevention Source Type: news

Perspective on alcohol use and cancer risk
This study isn’t going to become part of my discussion about the pros and cons of alcohol consumption. For those who have the time, here’s why: First, it isn’t because some of the cancers attributed to alcohol use aren’t serious––they are. Anyone who has had a loved one with cancer of the esophagus (swallowing pipe) knows this to be true. The problem is in the context in which I counsel about the role of alcohol in my patient’s lives. For a few, alcohol is nothing but bad news, and this study doesn’t add to what we already know. For these individuals, the challenge is that I don’t have especially effectiv...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - August 12, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH Tags: Behavioral Health Cancer Prevention alcohol use Source Type: news

New urine test predicts high-grade prostate cancer
Suspicious findings from prostate cancer screening are often followed by a procedure most men would prefer to avoid: a prostate biopsy. But what if biopsies actually could be avoided on the basis of non-invasive test results? Screening tests are moving in that direction, with some intriguing results. One of them, the Prostate Health Index blood test, combines measures of three forms of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) into a score that helps doctors predict if a cancer is likely to progress, with an aim to circumvent biopsies that aren’t necessary. Another non-invasive test, called the PCA3 assay, measures genetic evidenc...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - August 11, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Charlie Schmidt Tags: Cancer Health Prostate Health Screening Tests and procedures prostate cancer Source Type: news

Protecting children from the dangers of “ virtual violence ”
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire There has been a lot of violence in the world in the past few weeks — and many of our children have been watching it. That’s not a good thing. Between mainstream media and social media, violence reaches far past the places and people it directly affects. Whether it’s the latest shooting, the latest terrorist attack, or some other act of violence, television and other media can bring it into every home, every cell phone, and every computer. The recent rise in cell phone videos shared on social media — often raw, unedited, and shocking — has increased the prevalence and reach of viole...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - August 2, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting Source Type: news

Pace to breathe — New treatments for sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a common condition. As many as 26% of all Americans may suffer from this condition, in which there are long pauses between breaths during sleep. Unfortunately, many patients with sleep apnea do not tolerate the most effective current therapy, continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. For some of these people, a new approach pacemaker therapy may be an alternative. Pacemakers for sleep apnea? This must be a “typo,” right? Don’t you really mean heart pacemaker? No, this isn’t a typo. Pacemakers are some of the newest treatments for sleep apnea. Before explaining how they work, a short physiology le...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 27, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Stuart Quan, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Sleep Source Type: news

E-cigarettes: Good news, bad news
Follow me at @JohnRossMD Americans are confused about electronic cigarettes. A recent poll showed that the public was about evenly split between those who thought that electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were less harmful than conventional cigarettes, and those who believed that e-cigarettes were as bad as or worse than regular cigarettes. Unfortunately, there is no long-term safety data about e-cigarettes. What information we do have suggests that e-cigarettes have a complex mix of potential harms and benefits. E-cigarettes: Less deadly than regular cigarettes First, the good news: e-cigarettes are almost certainly le...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 25, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Ross, MD, FIDSA Tags: Behavioral Health Cancer Lung disease Prevention Smoking cessation Source Type: news

The trouble with antibiotics
Most people are aware of the potential downsides of taking an antibiotic. These side effects can range from allergic reactions to stomach upset, diarrhea, mental confusion, and in some cases, Clostridium difficile colitis – painful colon inflammation caused by a disruption in the normal balance of bacteria in the large intestine. However, more recently, concerns regarding the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasingly in the news. “Antimicrobial stewardship” promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics, in order to improve patient outcomes, reduce drug resistance, and l...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 20, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Susan Farrell, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Infectious diseases Managing your health care Source Type: news

New blood test for colon cancer screening: Questions remain
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new screening test for colorectal cancer, commonly referred to as colon cancer. This test is unique because it’s blood-based – meaning no more stool samples or the dreaded colonoscopy. Patients can have the test done as part of their annual blood tests, and they don’t have to think twice about it. But what it lacks in discomfort it makes up for in inexactitude. This newly approved test is not as sensitive or as accurate as a colonoscopy or as a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), which can detect hidden blood in stool, potentially indicating colon cancer. ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 18, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Celia Smoak Spell Tags: Cancer Health Health care Prevention Screening Source Type: news

Good — and bad — news about today’s teens
Follow me at @drClaire The results are in from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). There is a lot to celebrate — but there are also some trends that parents, and everyone who spends time with or works with teens, should know about. The YRBS is a nationwide survey of high school students conducted every two years. More than 15,000 students participated in the 2015 survey. The point of the survey is to monitor behaviors that can put the health and safety of teens at risk. It’s a confidential survey that allows teens to admit to things they might not want to admit to their parents and teachers. The more w...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 5, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting Prevention Source Type: news

The times, they are a-changin’ (and bringing new syndromes)
When are symptoms due to a medical condition, and when are they just a part of life? That’s the question that came to mind as I read about “computer vision syndrome.” So, what is a syndrome, anyway? Before considering the health hazards of working long hours in front of a computer screen, it’s worth asking what a syndrome is. In medicine we often use the word syndrome to describe a group of features, such as symptoms, examination findings or test results, that tend to occur together but without a clear enough understanding of their cause to be considered a specific disease. Some syndromes are described by the part ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - July 1, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Eye Health Source Type: news

An easy way to eat healthier this summer: Find a farmers’ market
June 23 is circled on a lot of calendars at Harvard Medical School. It’s the day the Mission Hill Farmers’ Market will open for the summer, just a couple of blocks from the campus. For the last several years we’ve looked forward to the arrival of the trucks laden with leafy greens, succulent fruit, and fresh flowers. Like the residents of the Mission Hill neighborhood, we know how fortunate we are to have the market. April Bowling, a doctoral student at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, sums up the benefits we’re getting: “When you attend a farmers’ market, you can have exposure to all kinds of fruits ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - June 23, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Beverly Merz Tags: Behavioral Health Healthy Eating Source Type: news

When “life” gets in the way of good health
A few years ago, I saw a lovely patient who had gained a surprising amount of weight between visits. Surprised, because usually she takes great care of herself, I said, “Wow. You’ve gained 10 pounds since I saw you last. What’s going on?” She looked at me and told me that her finances were in dire straits. She explained that she gained weight because her budget did not allow her to buy healthy food. In fact, she told me that the bagged cookies she purchased at a local dollar store were the least costly way to keep her from feeling hungry. My heart was heavy that day, as it always is when I hear that my patients are...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - June 13, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Lori Wiviott Tishler, MD, MPH Tags: Behavioral Health Health care Source Type: news

The many ways volunteering is good for your heart
If you do volunteer work, whether it’s at a school, soup kitchen, or senior center, perhaps you’ve experienced the emotional rewards of donating your time. What you might not realize, however, is that volunteering may offer some added advantages for your heart. “There’s a growing body of research showing that volunteering is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes,” says Eric S. Kim, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A study he co-authored, published in Social Science and Medicine earlier this year, found that volunteers were more likely to use preventive healt...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - June 3, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Julie Corliss Tags: Behavioral Health Healthy Aging Heart Health Prevention Source Type: news

New study says that it’s okay to let babies cry at night
Follow me at @drClaire When my eldest was a baby, I remember feeling so torn when she cried during the night. Our pediatrician and my mother both said that it was okay to let her cry for a while and let her learn to go back to sleep. But as I listened to her cry, I wondered: Will this make her too stressed? Will it damage her emotionally? Will it ruin our relationship? The answer to all of those questions, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, is no. Not only that, if I’d done it (I didn’t, I was too worried), my daughter and I might have gotten a bunch more sleep. Researchers from Australia wor...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 31, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Children's Health Parenting Sleep Source Type: news

Can aspirin protect against cancer?
The other day, a fit 50-year-old man came to me for a visit to review his health. As we discussed his (generally good) efforts to take care of himself, he said, “I’ve been wondering if I should take an aspirin every day. I read somewhere that it can prevent cancer.” As a clinician, I really love it when people come in with questions that stretch my thinking. I have a stock set of answers to the “does aspirin prevent heart disease” question, but I didn’t have an easy answer to the cancer prevention question. What were the data? What should I be recommending? Is it true for everyone? Or maybe just for some people...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 20, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Lori Wiviott Tishler, MD, MPH Tags: Cancer Drugs and Supplements Health Heart Health Prevention Source Type: news

Antidepressants and pregnancy: More research needed
Follow me at @Drmoniquetello For many women, pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby is a joyous time — but not for every woman. Recently, postpartum depression — extreme feelings of sadness and anxiety following the birth of a child — has come out from the shadows. But what about depression during pregnancy? It’s more common than you think: as many as 14% to 23% of pregnant women will experience symptoms of depression. It’s of sufficient public health concern that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening all pregnant women and new moms for depression. However, treating depression during preg...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 19, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Monique Tello, MD, MPH Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Drugs and Supplements Family Planning and Pregnancy Source Type: news

Avoid this common hazard of being in the hospital
My mother was lucid and alert when she was hospitalized for pneumonia. But by the middle of the first night, she was wondering how she had ended up at a “hotel” that allowed strangers to enter her room at all hours. The second night, she wandered into the corridor, slipped, and fractured a hip. She didn’t leave the hospital alive. Her story, though extreme, is sadly typical. According to several major studies, about half of people over 65 have episodes of delirium — a sudden change in mental status — during hospital stays, and those who do are at increased risk for falling, requiring nursing home care, and develo...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 13, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Beverly Merz Tags: Caregiving Health care Healthy Aging Prevention Safety hospital delirium Source Type: news

The latest dangerous “addiction” parents need to worry about: Mobile devices
Follow me at @drClaire For parents of teens, “addiction” is a scary word. It brings to mind all sorts of things we never want to have happen to our children, from overdoses to arrests — and so we talk to our kids about drugs and alcohol. But is there another addiction we should be worrying about, too? The Merriam-Webster definition of addiction is “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble).” Using that definition, you could make a real argument that many teens are becoming addicted to their mobile devices. You could make the same argument about their p...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 10, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Addiction Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting Source Type: news

More than sad: Depression affects your ability to think
When you think of clinical depression, you probably think of feeling sad and down for long periods of time; losing your energy and your interest in things you used to enjoy; sleeping too much or too little, or eating too much or too little. But besides these, depression can actually change your ability to think. It can impair your attention and memory, as well as your information processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your cognitive flexibility (the ability to adapt your goals and strategies to changing situations) and executive functioning (the ability to take all the steps to get something done). For pe...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 6, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: James Cartreine, PhD Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Mental Health Source Type: news

Taking your medications as prescribed: Smartphones can help
If you’re like most people, you may have trouble remembering to take your medications as prescribed. If that’s true, your doctor may have called you “noncompliant” or, perhaps, “nonadherent.” Whatever you call it, the phenomenon is quite common: up to 75% of people do not take their medications the way their doctors have recommended. And that could contribute to undertreatment, preventable complications, and even premature death. Estimates put the total costs of medication nonadherence as high as $300 billion each year in the United States. Why is medication nonadherence so common? I’ve known patients who nev...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - April 28, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Health care Source Type: news

Back to school: Learning a new skill can slow cognitive aging
Active aging involves more than moving your body. You also need to move your brain. “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. “The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.” A fun way to do this is to sharpen your No. 2 pencils and go back to school. “New brain cell growth can happen even late into adulthood,” says Dr. Vahia. “The process of learning and acquiring new information and experiences, like through structu...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - April 27, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Solan Tags: Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Healthy Aging Mental Health cognitive aging learning Source Type: news

Medical news: A case for skepticism
When you read medical news, do you ever get drawn in by the headline only to find the details deliver something quite different (or less) than expected? Or do the findings sound so dramatic that you wonder whether the results might be exaggerated or misleading? If you answered yes, I’m with you. The reasons to be skeptical are many. And it’s not that there are evil people out there deliberately trying to mislead you — well, there are a few of those, but only a few. Pressures on those that bring us health news make it almost certain that at times, information will be biased, incomplete, or flat-out wrong. I’m not ta...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - April 22, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert H. Shmerling, MD Tags: Health Health care Medical Research Source Type: news

Let’s dance! Rhythmic motion can improve your health
For a week each spring there’s dancing in the streets of Harvard Square as Dance for World Community, a project presented by José Mateo Ballet Theatre, demonstrates how people of all ages and abilities — from nimble preteens to people who use wheelchairs — can express themselves through dance. At almost every performance, spectators and passersby find themselves joining in. Dancing is a universal human experience. We dance to express joy, celebrate life events, and enact religious and cultural rituals. Dance also has physical and cognitive benefits that may exceed those of other forms of exercise. What dance does fo...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - April 21, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Beverly Merz Tags: Brain and cognitive health Exercise and Fitness rhythmic dance rhythmic motion Source Type: news

Running injury? Maybe you’re doing it all wrong
This study raises some interesting questions, including: Are running injuries actually caused by the amount of force generated with each step? Or, is there something else (such as stride length or body posture while running) that explains this connection? Is the higher force of impact a cause of injuries or the result? In other words, maybe runners land harder when there is something amiss, perhaps a knee or hip problem, of which they are not yet aware. Would the same results be found if men were included in the study? What about people who run less than 20 miles/week? Or far more? How easy is it to land more softly while...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - April 8, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Robert Shmerling, MD Tags: Exercise and Fitness Health Prevention running injury Source Type: news

A twist on the genetic link between Alzheimer’s and heart disease
Alzheimer’s disease often strikes fear in people’s hearts because it gradually erodes a person’s ability to remember, think, and learn. There is no cure, and available treatments alleviate symptoms only temporarily. An estimated 5.3 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease, yet this brain disorder is far less common than heart disease. More than 85 million people in the United States are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke, which also affects brain function. Many people don’t realize that Alzheimer’s and heart disease share a genetic link: the apolipoprotei...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - March 25, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Julie Corliss Tags: Alzheimer's Disease Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Genes Healthy Aging Heart Health Memory Mental Health Source Type: news

3 reasons the 2016 campaign can be good for kids (parents, it’s up to you!)
Follow me at @drClaire This year’s presidential campaign has been remarkable — and not for good reasons. It has been full of rancor, which is common in campaigns, but this time, the rancor has been more vehement and more personal, and it has involved different ethnic and religious groups in ways that are unusual for campaigns. As a parent, one’s first instinct is to shield children from it — change the channel, recycle the newspaper, talk about anything else. But doing the opposite could be really good for children. Here are three reasons children and families could end up with not only a new president, but also so...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - March 15, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Children's Health Parenting Source Type: news

New survey reveals the rapid rise of yoga — and why some people still haven’t tried it
Follow me @newyorkpsych Yoga, a modern practice rooted in over 5000 years of ancient Indian texts and traditions, continues to gain popularity in the United States. A new survey conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal reports that the number of Americans doing yoga has grown by over 50% in the last four years to over 36 million as of 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012. In addition, nine out of 10 Americans have heard of yoga, one in three Americans has tried yoga at least once, and more than 15% of Americans have done yoga in the last 6 months. More than a third of Americans say they are very likely to try yoga in the ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - March 7, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Marlynn Wei, MD, JD Tags: Behavioral Health Complementary and alternative medicine Exercise and Fitness Stress Yoga yogi yogis Source Type: news

New depression screening guidelines benefit pregnant women and new moms–and everyone
Follow me @hricciot In January, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released an important update to their depression screening recommendations. As an obstetrician, I was particularly pleased that the recommendations now include screening pregnant women or those who have recently given birth, because 10% of these women suffer from depression. How new moms can benefit from enhanced depression screening The prior recommendations did not include pregnant and postpartum women. The USPSTF also found that treatment with a type of talk therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy alone, without the use of antidepressan...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - March 2, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Hope Ricciotti, MD Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Family Planning and Pregnancy Mental Health Prevention Screening Women's Health Source Type: news

Starting your baby on solids? Here are three new things I tell parents to do
Follow me at @drClaire All pediatricians have certain “speeches” they can do in their sleep — like the safe sleep speech, the potty-training speech, the healthy diet speech, or the speeches for managing fever, common colds, or vomiting and diarrhea. But research over the past few years has changed one of those speeches: the speech about starting solid foods. I still say the same things about waiting until at least age 4 months to start (closer to 6 months is likely better, especially if baby is getting breast milk), and about not starting two new foods at a time (so as to know the culprit should baby get constipated ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - February 16, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Children's Health Healthy Eating Parenting Safety Source Type: news

New depression screening guidelines outline very helpful, yet achievable goals
Every once in a while, a simple idea comes along that has the potential to bring enormous health benefits. Screening for depression is one of them. It is a low-cost, high-impact intervention that should be a regular part of primary care medicine. This idea is not new, as we pointed out back in October of last year. But it’s gotten another helpful boost — and was in the news last week — because the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated recommendations reinforcing this message. Depression is common and potentially disabling. Yet despite decades of research and publicity about the problem, de...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - February 4, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Michael Craig Miller, M.D. Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Family Planning and Pregnancy Mental Health Prevention Screening Women's Health Source Type: news

Lead poisoning: What everyone needs to know
Follow me at @drClaire The lead poisoning of thousands of children in Flint, Michigan is tragic — and should never have happened. If we are going to make sure that nothing like it happens again, all of us, especially parents, need to learn about lead poisoning. Lead is a chemical that used to be commonly found in paint, gasoline, and factory emissions. It also was used to make pipes, as well as the solder that holds them together. But once the toxicity of lead was fully understood, there were laws and regulations put in place to limit its use, and to limit the exposure of children and pregnant women to lead. The problem ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - February 2, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Children's Health Family Planning and Pregnancy Prevention Safety Source Type: news

The empowering potential of end-of-life care
When we scan the medical journals for research to report, we often ask ourselves whether an article suggests something many of us can do to improve our health or well-being. It might come as a surprise, but the articles on end-of-life care in recent issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine actually fit that bill. And they delivered good news. These articles’ collective message is that there is much that medical teams can do to ensure that people have the best days possible in their final months and weeks, and that they die without undue suffering. The takeaway:...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 25, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Beverly Merz Tags: Behavioral Health Cancer Caregiving Health care Source Type: news

Anti-depressants for teens: A second look
This study highlights the importance of talking to your trusted doctor about the things you hear before just accepting the version of results presented to you. As a doctor, I look forward to more studies that re-examine our current understanding of research data. I hope they will help provide the important information I need to best guide my patients. Related Post:Teen suicide tries increased after FDA toughened…Teens with upbeat friends may have better emotional healthAntidepressants cause minimal weight gainThe placebo effect: Amazing and realHeads up, parents: New study with important information…The post ...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 22, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Nandini Mani, MD Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting antidepressants teens Source Type: news

Taking new aim at cancer
You may have heard that former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma, which had previously metastasized to his brain, has vanished. This news has cast light on a type of cancer treatment called immunotherapy, which helps the body’s own immune system fight cancer cells. The drug used for President Carter, pembrolizumab (Keytruda), is designed to block a cellular pathway known as PD-1, which hinders the immune system’s ability to attack melanoma cells. It was approved last year by the FDA and, so far, has proven to be successful in melanoma and other cancers. In clinical trials, tumors shrank in more than 30% of peo...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 20, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Solan Tags: Cancer Drugs and Supplements Health Health care Source Type: news

Where is best for birth: Hospital or home?
By the second half of the 20th century, hospital birth had become the norm in most Western countries. Hospital birth offers monitoring and interventions, many of which saved the lives of mothers and babies. At the same time, births became increasingly — and some would say unnecessarily — medicalized. Many would also argue that the pendulum of intervention has swung too far. For example, from 1970 to 2010, the rate of U.S. cesarean delivery doubled — but (although both are low) the risk of a baby dying during the course of delivery remained unchanged, and the risk of a mother’s dying slightly rose. In an effort to a...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 14, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Jeffrey Ecker, MD Tags: Family Planning and Pregnancy Health care Women's Health home births Source Type: news

Guns and your health
People choose to own guns for several reasons: hunting, target shooting, collecting… The number one reason now is for protection. As physicians, we too care about your protection. Our mission is to treat disease, promote quality of life, and prevent injury and death. We discuss matters of health and safety in a confidential, non-judgmental fashion. We ask about depression, domestic violence, and drugs. We make recommendations about practicing safe sex and wearing seatbelts. But some feel that physicians should not talk about guns. In fact, Florida has passed a law limiting such discussion. But guns do affect health and s...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 13, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Wynne Armand, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Health care Safety gun violence Source Type: news

New cures for hepatitis C — but are they affordable?
The public health burden of hepatitis C is enormous. This serious viral infection of the liver causes cirrhosis, liver cancer, and end-stage liver failure, often requiring liver transplantation. Over 3 million people in the United States, and 150 million worldwide, are infected with hepatitis C virus, resulting in 700,000 deaths per year. People who are infected with hepatitis C virus often have no symptoms. The virus persists in the liver, slowly damaging liver tissue over a long period of time. For this reason, it is critical that progression of liver damage be stopped before advanced liver disease or liver cancer occurs...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 7, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Gregory Curfman, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Health Health care Infectious diseases hepatitis C Source Type: news

Four new recommendations for adolescent health
The yearly “check-up” is the perfect (perhaps only) time to not only see how kids are growing and give any needed shots, but to see how they are doing more generally — and help be sure that they grow into healthy, happy adults. After all, prevention is really what pediatrics is all about. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a checklist for pediatricians called “Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care.” These recommendations, which are updated every few years, are based on the most up-to-date research about the health of children now — and in the future. While the latest versio...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - January 4, 2016 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Children's Health Parenting Prevention Source Type: news

Holiday travels: Keeping kids safe and healthy
Traveling with your children can be a great way to explore new places, spend time together as a family, and visit with those friends and family members who don’t live nearby. To have the safest and healthiest trip possible, keep in mind these travel tips. Bring the important things from your medicine cabinet Pack any prescription medicines your child takes. Check to be sure you have enough for the whole trip. Bring commonly used over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), antibiotic ointment, cold medications (as recommended by your doctor), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - December 21, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Health Children's Health Parenting Behavioral Health traveling holiday travel Source Type: news

Imaging tests: Using them wisely
Follow me at @ashishkjha Half a century ago, physicians had few options for diagnostic tests to obtain images of the body. Worried about a brain tumor? A physician might order a pneumo-encephalogram (PEG), which entailed injecting air into the spinal cord and taking x-rays of the head, hoping to spot an abnormality. Tests like these were painful and ineffective, leading physicians to shy away from excessive imaging. The last five decades have seen dramatic progress in technology and innovation, but not without consequences. The upside — and downside — of innovation in imaging In the 1970s, CT scans became available. F...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - December 11, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH Tags: Health Health care Radiation Tests and procedures image testing Source Type: news

Teens with upbeat friends may have better emotional health
This study is a nice example of a recent trend in epidemiology — using data about an individual’s social network to learn things about that person. This type of research has led to numerous interesting findings, and has really shaped an entire new area of inquiry. A study published in 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine was one of the first of this kind. It showed that people who had obese friends and family were themselves more likely to be obese. Since then, additional research has looked at how social networks influence an individual’s risk of developing (or sidestepping) specific health conditions, such a...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - December 10, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Nandini Mani, MD Tags: Anxiety and Depression Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting teen health teenagers Source Type: news

Reversing the effects of the new anti-clotting drugs
The oral anticoagulant warfarin (Coumadin) became available for prescription in 1954. This anti-clotting drug commanded national attention when President Dwight Eisenhower received the drug as part of his treatment following a heart attack. No other oral anticoagulant was successfully developed and marketed in the United States until 2010. Warfarin is a dangerous drug. Along with insulin, it is responsible for the most emergency hospitalizations due to adverse drug reactions. Whereas insulin causes low blood sugar, warfarin is notorious for the complication of major bleeding. Warfarin is plagued by hundreds of drug-drug an...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - December 9, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD Tags: Drugs and Supplements Health Heart Health Hypertension and Stroke anti-clotting coumadin deep-vein-thrombosis DVT Source Type: news

Beyond the 2-hour screen rule: 10 tips for parenting in the digital age
(Follow me at @drClaire) For years, the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) when it came to media and kids was pretty straightforward: limit the TV to 2 hours a day, and don’t let children under the age of 2 watch it. As the Internet emerged and new devices arrived, the recommendation was tweaked to 2 hours of “entertainment media,” with the recommendation that the under-2 crowd stay screen-free. But these days, even that has gotten hard. Is doing a math game on an iPad entertainment? How do you do the 2-hour rule if your teen intermittently checks social media while doing online homework? What...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - December 1, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Behavioral Health Children's Health Parenting cell phone digital age Source Type: news

Stress-busting mind-body medicine reduces need for health care
This study cannot prove that beyond doubt, because it just observed statistical links. The researchers were careful to account for factors besides 3RP training that could affect the amount of health care people seek — especially age, gender, race, education, and income level. “Can you ever really eliminate that? I don’t think anyone can be sure,” Dr. Stahl says. To policy makers, the study offers the possibility of a safe and inexpensive way to help control rising healthcare costs. But strictly speaking, this study doesn’t provide any conclusive evidence about that. For example, what if some of the 3RP group skip...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - October 16, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Daniel Pendick Tags: Mental Health health care mind and mood mindfulness Source Type: news

Heads up, parents: New study with important information about the online life of teens
Let’s face it: most parents have no clue what their teens are doing online. According to a new study, even the parents who think they know what’s going on are missing most of it. For the study, CNN partnered with two researchers — Marion Underwood of the University of Texas and Robert Faris of the University of California, Davis — to study the social media lives of 216 eighth graders from eight middle schools in Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia. The researchers installed software that monitored what the teens did online for six months (with their permission) and had the teens and their pa...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - October 16, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Claire McCarthy, MD Tags: Parenting cyberbullying social media teenagers Source Type: news

Report proposes new “vital signs” to measure the nation’s health
Doctors use vital signs as a relatively straightforward way to detect an illness or monitor a person’s health. Key ones include blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, and heart rate. A report from the newly christened National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) proposes using 15 “vital signs” to track how health care in the United States measures up: life expectancy well-being overweight and obesity addictive behavior unintended pregnancy healthy communities preventive services access to care patient safety evidence-based care care that matches patient goals personal spen...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 27, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Gregory Curfman, MD Tags: Health care vital signs Source Type: news

New hospital ratings evaluate delivery of “typical care”
The Internet has made it easier to become an educated consumer. At the touch of a button, you can find reviews of thousands of products and services — even health services — from consumer groups and fellow customers. It’s no surprise that many people count on these reviews and rankings before visiting a hospital. For the past 25 years, US News and World Report has been listing the “best hospitals” in the United States. In a Viewpoint article in this week’s JAMA, the magazine’s top health analysts describe how they are expanding and changing the way they rate hospitals. Common procedures, c...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - May 20, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Heidi Godman Tags: Health best hospitals hospital rankings hospital ratings Source Type: news

Harvard Health books win awards
Every other year, the New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association recognizes "outstanding work in medical, biomedical, and health communication" with the Wil Solimene Award for Excellence in Medical Communication. I'm pleased to report that four Harvard Health books won Wil Solimene awards this year. They are: Almost Addicted, by J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD, and Eric Metcalf, MPH Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress, by Jeff Brown, MD Almost Depressed, by Jefferson Prince, MD, and Shelley Carson, PHD The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, by Peter M. Wayne, PhD, and Mark L. Fuer...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - June 24, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

New Americans Health Information Portal (NAHIP)
The New Americans Health Information Portal (NAHIP) at http://bit.ly/148orMH is a collaboration between the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights (http://bit.ly/UUunoA) and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library of the Health Sciences. The goal of the portal is to serve both as an Internet portal to identified quality multilingual health education documents and as a place for health documents created by Heartland’s Refugee Health Programs.
Source: BHIC - January 23, 2013 Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Michelle Tags: Health Information Literacy Minority Health Concerns Public Health Source Type: blogs