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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.

Fitness Linked with Lower Blood Pressure

Being fit reduces the risk of high blood pressure, a large new study finds. The study included more than 57,000 adults who were part of a large, long-term exercise study. Their average age was 53. They were referred by their doctors for a treadmill stress test because they had chest pain or shortness of breath. Researchers looked at the level of fitness for each person, as measured by the treadmill test. About 35,000 people in the group had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. More than 70% of those with low fitness levels had high blood pressure, compared with less than 50% of those with high fitness. After the tests, researchers kept track of people for a median of 4.4 years. More than 8,000 people were diagnosed with high blood pressure during this follow-up period. About 49% of them were in the lowest fitness group. About 21% were in the top fitness group.

Studies Suggest E-cigarettes May Aid Quitters

E-cigarettes may help smokers to quit, a new report concludes. But it noted that there's not much research so far about these new devices. The report comes from the Cochrane Collaboration. This is an independent group that evaluates medical evidence and gives advice. Cochrane reviewers looked at 2 clinical trials. They included a total of 662 smokers. People were randomly assigned to try quitting with either e-cigarettes or fake devices that contained no nicotine. After a year, 9% of those who used e-cigarettes were tobacco-free. About 4% of those who used the fake devices were able to quit. About 36% of e-cigarette users cut in half the number of regular cigarettes they smoked. About 28% of those using the fake devices were able to do this. One of the trials also compared e-cigarettes and nicotine patches. They were about equal in helping people quite.

Study: People Care about Uses of Medical Data

People may be more willing to share their health records for research than for marketing, a new study finds. In this study, how the records would be used mattered more to people than whether they gave consent. The study included more than 3,000 people. Researchers presented them with examples of ways that medical data could be used. All of the examples involved an analysis of thousands of medical records. This analysis picked out the people with diabetes and what drugs they took. In different scenarios, the information was obtained with or without the person's consent. It was used either for research (to improve care) or for marketing (to help sell a diabetes drug). People were asked what they thought about each use of the information. A score of 10 was the most appropriate use and 1 was the least. The lowest scores (3.81) were for using information for marketing without consent.

Harvard Reviews of Health News

Being fit reduces the risk of high blood pressure, a large new study finds. The study included more than 57,000 adults who were part of a large, long-term exercise study. Their average age was 53. They were referred by their doctors for a treadmill stress tes...

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