Should we screen all adolescent girls and women for anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, affecting up to 40% of women and 20% of men in the course of their lifetimes. Women and adolescent girls are at particularly high risk for the development of anxiety disorders, due to differences in their brain chemistry, psychosocial contributors such as childhood sexual abuse, as well as the hormonal effects…

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An emerging link between the urinary microbiome and urinary incontinence

Most people know that microorganisms live on our skin, and in other places in the body such as the digestive tract. However, traditional thinking and medical teaching was that there was no such microbiome in the urinary tract. Many people may still believe that urine is sterile. Advanced detection methods such as enhanced urine cultures and DNA sequencing have…

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Which test is best for COVID-19?

Now that we’re several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, steps we need to take to effectively control the outbreak have become clear: conscientious prevention measures like handwashing and distancing, widespread testing with quick turnaround times, and contact tracing. None of these is easy to maintain over a prolonged period. But combined, they are our best bets while awaiting better…

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Be vigilant about bug spray

Ticks and mosquitoes don’t care about COVID-19 safety protocols. They don’t care that people are trying to squeeze out the last moments of this restrictive summer by getting outdoors, hiking, or just sitting on their decks at night and feeling something that’s close to normal. COVID-19 has commanded our attention and caused people to adapt their behaviors to prevent…

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Children, teens, and the safety of psychotropic medicines – Harvard Health Blog

Medicines prescribed for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders — known as psychotropic drugs — have largely been studied in adults. This concerns many parents whose children take these drugs regularly. Studies have most often looked at the effectiveness of these medicines in teens and children. Now a recent systematic review of multiple studies done…

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Rising temperatures: How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths

In Boston, we believe warmer is better. Our cravings for warmth are formed in the cold, dark winter nights when the prospect of summer seems impossibly remote. But with July temperatures reaching near 100° F, our winter dreams are becoming a summertime nightmare. Dangerous heat exposures in Boston and other cities across the US aren’t felt equally. Urban areas…

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Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are

They go by different names: goosebumps, goose pimples, goose flesh, and my personal favorite, goose bumples. The medical term is cutis anserine (cutis means skin and anser means goose). I guess the similarity in texture is just too close to goose skin to ignore. Other medical terms for goosebumps are horripilation, piloerection, or the pilomotor reflex. Each of these…

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Lifestyle changes are important for managing atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is a common heart rhythm disorder in which the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat fast and irregularly. Afib commonly causes recurrent symptoms, usually palpitations and shortness of breath, and can negatively affect quality of life. Afib also substantially increases the risk of stroke, and is also associated with heart failure, high blood pressure,…

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Can appealing to teenagers’ vanity improve sun-protective behaviors?

As the summer warmth lures us outside, parents may be struggling to get their teenagers to follow sun protection guidelines. It can be challenging to catch the attention of younger people, for whom health concerns such as skin cancer feel like a lifetime away. One promising strategy for educating teens about sun-protective behavior is to appeal to their vanity…

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