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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.

Polyp Removal and Future Colon-Cancer Risk

People who have low-risk colon polyps removed may have a lower-than-average risk of future colon cancer, a new study suggests. But those who have high-risk polyps removed may still have a higher risk. The study was done in Norway. It was based on data for nearly 41,000 people. They had colorectal polyps called adenomas removed during a colonoscopy. This test uses an instrument to look inside the colon for cancer. Adenomas are removed because they sometimes become cancerous. The study group was divided into low-risk and high-risk groups. The low-risk group had a single polyp smaller than 1 centimeter removed. During about 8 years of follow-up, people in this group were 25% less likely to die of colon cancer than someone in the general population. People in the high-risk group had large or multiple polyps removed.

Aspirin May Cut Risk of 2nd Deep-Vein Clot

Aspirin may offer some long-term protection for people who have had blood clots in the legs or lungs, a new study suggests. The study combined the results of two similar, smaller studies. They included 1,224 people who had a previous deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the legs or lungs. In each case, there was no likely cause, such as recent surgery. They were treated with heparin to dissolve the clot. In this situation, the risk of another clot is about 10% in the next year. To reduce the risk, people take warfarin or another blood thinner for 6 months to a year. But then most people stop taking the drugs because they increase the risk of bleeding. Everyone in these studies had completed initial treatment. They were randomly assigned to further treatment with daily low-dose aspirin or placebo (fake) pills.

'Sleep Drunkenness' Common, Study Finds

A new survey suggests that about 15% of Americans have what's sometimes known as "sleep drunkenness." Doctors call it confusional arousal. This means that you wake up feeling confused and not knowing where you are, perhaps for up to 10 minutes. The new study was based on interviews with more than 19,000 adults. They were asked about their sleep habits, mental health and medicines. About 15% said they had a confusional arousal incident in the last year. More than half of this group said they had the incidents more often -- more than once a week. Most of those who had episodes of sleep drunkenness also had another sleep disorder, mental health disorder or both. Just over 70% had a sleep disorder. About 37% had a mental health disorder. More than 31% took medicines for a mental health issue, mostly antidepressants. The journal Neurology published the study.

Harvard Reviews of Health News

People who have low-risk colon polyps removed may have a lower-than-average risk of future colon cancer, a new study suggests. But those who have high-risk polyps removed may still have a higher risk. The study was done in Norway. It was based on data for nea...

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