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Harvard Reviews of Health News


Harvard News ReviewsA team of Harvard physicians reviews health news headlines 24/7/365, and creates commentary and provides advice on how a consumer should react to the news. For urgent breaking health news, articles are written within 6-18 hours of the news story’s first appearance. If desired, they can be delivered immediately upon completion. Over 200 new articles are written annually.

Substance in Cocoa May Aid Aging Memories

A substance found in cocoa may help to improve normal age-related memory loss, a very small study suggests. People in the study consumed a large amount of chemicals called flavanols. They are found in cacao beans, but mostly removed in the processing that creates cocoa and chocolate. The Mars candy company, which partly funded this study, found a way to turn the flavanols into a powder. The study included 37 healthy adults, ages 50 through 69. They were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group consumed 900 milligrams of flavanols daily, mixed with water or milk. That's equal to about 7 dark chocolate bars. The other group received 10 milligrams a day. This diet lasted for 3 months. Before and after the study, people received brain scans. They also took tests of their pattern-recognition skills.

Better College Care Urged for Chronic Illness

Most colleges say they can manage care for students with long-term medical conditions, a new study finds. But they often don't know who those students are. About 20% of college students have a chronic (long-term) condition. The new study was based on a survey. It included medical directors for 200 U.S. colleges. They were chosen to represent all 4-year colleges. About 83% of the colleges said they could manage a student's asthma. About 69% said they could manage depression. Just over half thought they could manage diabetes. But only 42% had a system in place to find out which students had these conditions. About 31% of the colleges reviewed medical records and created registries of students with chronic conditions. Depending on the condition, up to 25% of schools contacted new students with these conditions to schedule an appointment.

Pregnancy Diabetes May Affect Daughter's Weight

Daughters of women with high blood sugar during pregnancy may be more likely to become overweight as children, a new study finds. The risk was especially strong if the mothers developed gestational diabetes while they were pregnant. This form of diabetes goes away after childbirth. The study included 421 girls. They were 6 to 8 years old when the study began. Researchers kept track of them for about 6 years. They also looked at medical records of the girls' mothers. During pregnancy, 27 mothers developed gestational diabetes. Their daughters were 3.5 times as likely to become overweight during childhood as those whose mothers had normal blood sugar. Their risk increased to 5.5 times normal if their mothers also had been overweight before pregnancy. The daughters of women with gestational diabetes also were more likely to have large waists or more body fat.

Harvard Reviews of Health News

A substance found in cocoa may help to improve normal age-related memory loss, a very small study suggests. People in the study consumed a large amount of chemicals called flavanols. They are found in cacao beans, but mostly removed in the processing that cre...

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