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Harvard Health Letter

Mending inguinal hernias

Mending inguinal hernias David W. Rattner When the doctor found a small lump in Mark Wilson’s groin, the 47-year-old patient was surprised. At least 2% of adult men in the United States develop an inguinal hernia and, like Wilson, one third of them have no symptoms. An inguinal hernia is the protrusion of the intestine […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Nutrition: The Neglected, Nourishing Bean

Nutrition: The Neglected, Nourishing Bean Increasingly, research has indicated that certain foods provide more than sustenance – some may actually help prevent chronic diseases. Indeed, most health-conscious people know that consuming a varied, low-fat, high-fiber diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables can help protect them against heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and some cancers. […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Making good use of the emergency room – includes information on insurance coverage and on triage

Making good use of the emergency room – includes information on insurance coverage and on triage – Special Supplement J. Tobias Nagurney It’s a scene straight out of a television drama: sirens wailing, lights flashing, an ambulance racing through city streets. A paramedic hovers over the victim of a three-car crash, while the driver radios […]

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Harvard Health Letter

High C – sounding better?

High C – sounding better? – vitamin C intake and decreased mortality It has long been clear that small daily doses of vitamin C are needed to maintain good health. Recently, researchers have proposed that adding substantially larger amounts to the diet may prolong life by lessening the risk for heart disease and cancer. That […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Putting chiropractic to the test – assessment of clinical trials of chiropractic treatment

Putting chiropractic to the test – assessment of clinical trials of chiropractic treatment – Brief Article For as long as there have been chiropractors, there has been debate about whether their manipulations actually help sore backs get better. Although nearly everyone has a neighbor or friend who swears by chiropractic, few well-designed, scientific studies have […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Patching up older bones

Patching up older bones Most women who use transdermal estrogen patches do so to ease their passage through menopause, when a fall in the body’s own estrogen production can cause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Now a study from the Mayo Clinic indicates that these patches may also benefit women who are […]

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Harvard Health Letter

All the better to see you – research indicates dietary fat increases risk of age-related macular degeneration

All the better to see you – research indicates dietary fat increases risk of age-related macular degeneration – Brief Article What’s bad for the heart may also be harmful for the eyes. Results from the first study to examine the relationship between dietary fat and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) suggest that people who eat more […]

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Harvard Health Letter

New osteoporosis drug

New osteoporosis drug – alendronate sodium A new medication that slows bone loss while increasing skeletal mass has osteoporosis experts cautiously optimistic that they are gaining ground on this debilitating disease. An international group of researchers from 12 institutions analyzed the effects of alendronate sodium (sold as Fosamax) in 994 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. For […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Osteoporosis: thyroid risk?

Osteoporosis: thyroid risk? – overdose of thyroid hormone may increase osteoporosis risk Even a slight overdose of thyroid hormone may increase the risk of osteoporosis. Three studies published in 1990 confirm earlier research showing that people treated with the hormone tend to lose mineral from their bones if the dose is just a bit higher […]

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Harvard Health Letter

Driving under the influence – hazards of taking benzodiazepines

Driving under the influence – hazards of taking benzodiazepines – Brief Article Mile per mile, the rate of car accidents among older folks is twice as high as that for middle-age drivers and is outpaced only by the rate of the under-25 crowd. Slowed reaction times, joint impairment, and visual disturbances are often to blame. […]