Aspirin and breast cancer risk: How a wonder drug may become more wonderful

Aspirin has been called a wonder drug. And it’s easy to see why. It’s inexpensive, its side effects are well-known and generally minor. And since it was developed in the 1890s, it’s been shown to provide a number of potential benefits, such as relieving pain, bringing down a fever, and preventing heart attacks and strokes. […]

Promoting equity and community health in the COVID-19 pandemic

Editor’s note: Second in a series on the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, and responses aimed at improving health equity. Click here to read part one. In early March 2020, as COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency in Boston, Mass General Brigham began to care for a growing number of patients with […]

Communities of color devastated by COVID-19: Shifting the narrative

Editor’s note: First in a series on the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and responses aimed at improving health equity. By now we’ve read headlines like these all too often: “Communities of Color Devastated by COVID-19.” Way back in March, available data started to show that vulnerable, minority communities were experiencing much higher […]

Illness-related fatigue: More than just feeling tired

A common refrain during the COVID-19 pandemic is, “I’m so tired.” After months of adjusted living and anxiety, people are understandably weary. Parents who haven’t had a break from their kids are worn out. Those trying to juggle working from home with homeschooling are stretched thin. Between concerns about health, finances, and isolation, everyone is […]

Beyond trick-or-treating: Safe Halloween fun during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve had to find new ways to do almost everything — and the same is true of this year’s Halloween celebrations. Two mainstays of Halloween, trick-or-treating and Halloween parties, could be very risky this year. Going from house to house, sticking your hands in bowls of candy that many […]

Coping with the loss of smell and taste

As I cut a slice of lemon for my tea one morning last March, I found that I could not detect the familiar zing of citrus. Nor, it turned out, could I taste the peach jam on my toast. Overnight, my senses of smell and taste seemed to have disappeared. In the days prior to […]

Early, tight control of Crohn’s disease may have lasting benefits

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a remarkable organ: it resides on the inside of our bodies, but is regularly in contact with the outside world by virtue of what we ingest. It is quite incredible that the immune cells of the GI tract are not activated more regularly by the many foreign products it encounters […]

The tragedy of the post-COVID “long haulers”

Suppose you are suddenly are stricken with COVID-19. You become very ill for several weeks. On awakening every morning, you wonder if this day might be your last. And then you begin to turn the corner. Every day your worst symptoms — the fever, the terrible cough, the breathlessness — get a little better. You […]

Stopping osteoarthritis: Could recent heart research provide a clue?

Here’s a recent headline that I found confusing: Could the first drug that slows arthritis be here? It’s confusing because it depends on which of the more than 100 types of arthritis we’re discussing. We’ve had drugs that slow rheumatoid arthritis for decades. In fact, more than a dozen FDA-approved drugs can reduce, or even […]

Stress and the heart: Lessons from the pandemic

The effects of COVID-19 have been extensive, with more than seven million confirmed cases and more than 200,000 deaths in the US alone. COVID-19 has caused additional impacts on healthcare; for example, patients have delayed seeking care for serious symptoms over fears of exposure to COVID-19. But the consequences of COVID-19 have reached beyond healthcare […]