CONTENT AND TOOLS FROM THE FACULTY OF HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

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.

Weight Tied to Risk of Worst Prostate Cancers

Obesity appears to increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, especially in black men, a new study finds. The study included nearly 3,400 black men and almost 22,700 white men. When the study began, they were at least 55 years old and did not have prostate cancer. In the next 5½ years, blacks were 58% more likely to develop prostate cancer than whites. The increase in risk was greatly affected by weight. Among men of normal weight, blacks had a 28% higher risk of prostate cancer than white men. For very obese black men, the risk was 103% higher. And very obese black men were 81% more likely to have aggressive prostate cancer than black men of normal weight. This type of prostate cancer grows quickly. The link between obesity and prostate cancer was not as strong for white men.

Sleep Apnea May Speed Up Memory Problems

Loud snorers and people with sleep apnea may develop memory problems much earlier than those with normal breathing during sleep, a new study suggests. But getting treatment for sleep apnea may restore normal risk levels. The study was based on a review of medical records for about 2,500 people. They ranged in age from 55 to 90. Researchers divided people into 3 groups. One group had normal brain function. One group had mild memory and thinking problems (mild cognitive impairment). The third group had Alzheimer's disease. Researchers also looked at when people developed these problems. Diagnosis with mild memory problems occurred about 10 years earlier for people who had sleep-disordered breathing (sleep apnea or heavy snoring) than for those without sleep issues. Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed about 5 years earlier.

Pharmacists May Help People Stick to Pills

Pharmacists may have a role to play in helping people on blood thinners take their pills on schedule, a new study finds. The study used information on outpatients in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. The 5,400 people in the study group got prescriptions for the drug dabigatran (Pradaxa). This blood thinner is prescribed for many people with an abnormal heart beat called atrial fibrillation. It helps to prevent clots that can cause strokes. Researchers interviewed pharmacists at 41 VA centers. They asked the pharmacists about how the VA center educated people about the drug and kept track of them. Practices varied. About 28% of those in the study did not take the medicine as directed. Patients were more likely to take their medicines correctly if pharmacists, rather than doctors' offices, did the follow-up. They also were less likely to miss doses.

Harvard Reviews of Health News

Obesity appears to increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, especially in black men, a new study finds. The study included nearly 3,400 black men and almost 22,700 white men. When the study began, they were at least 55 years old and did not have prost...

New Content

Sample Videos

Watch our "Ask Harvard Medical School" Videos

Watch a Sample.

License this content today!

Author:

Contact Us

Inquire about licensing our health information content.