News

COVID-19 vaccination linked with small, temporary changes in menstrual cycles

July 26, 2022 – Vaccines for COVID-19 may cause small changes in menstrual cycles, but those changes are temporary, according to preliminary results from the Apple Women’s Health Study. The study’s survey of over 9,600 participants found that, on average, a dose of vaccine was associated with an increase in menstrual cycle length of about half a day. Cycle length returned …

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Racism is a public health crisis

The killing of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on people of color are only the two latest examples of how structural racism can lead to devastating outcomes. Harvard Chan School stands together and is committed to helping fight this longstanding racism. The information and resources below highlight work from members …

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Exercising more than recommended could lengthen life, study suggests

Getting the federally recommended amount of physical activity can reduce the risk of early death—but boosting activity higher can further reduce the risk, according to a study co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Dong Hoon Lee. The study, published July 25 in the journal Circulation, analyzed 30 years of medical records and mortality data from …

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The dangers of extreme heat

Extreme heat—the kind that baked the U.S. and other parts of the world in mid-July—poses grave health risks, according to Aaron Bernstein of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Temperatures that soar to 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher over the course or two or more days can cause more than just dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, …

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Assessing the FDA’s latest moves on nicotine and e-cigarettes

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to develop a proposed product standard by May 2023 that would establish a maximum nicotine level in combustible tobacco products and reduce their addictiveness. The same month, the agency ordered electronic cigarette company Juul to immediately stop selling its products in the U.S., but later suspended the order pending further review. …

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Abortion restrictions raise concerns about maternal mortality risk, particularly for Black women

Deaths during and after childbirth are considerably higher in the U.S. than in other high-income countries, particularly for Black women. Determining the cause of this disparity is “one of the biggest challenges of public health,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Henning Tiemeier said in a July 3, 2022, Face the Nation interview. Tiemeier, Sumner and Esther …

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Here are the top four strategies to reduce COVID risk in buildings

A short new report from the Lancet COVID-19 Commission lists the first four strategies that every building owner and operator should pursue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The report focuses on lowering the amount of virus-laden aerosols in indoor air by improving ventilation and filtration. The report was put together by the Commission’s task force on safe work, safe …

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Abortion access and policy after Roe

Patients traveling further and waiting longer for abortion care. Doctors hesitating to provide pregnant individuals with life-saving treatment. Pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for abortion medication. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the impacts of losing the constitutional right to abortion have been immediate and …

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The Supreme Court curbed EPA’s power to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. What comes next?

In late June, the Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot put state-level caps on carbon emissions under the 1970 Clean Air Act. Such authority would, in effect, steer states away from coal and toward other types of power sources that emit less carbon. The Court said that, instead, the authority to …

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Social media boosting popularity of harmful skin whitening products

July 19, 2022 – Skin whitening products are popular on social media, with the hashtag #skinwhitening on TikTok alone garnering more than 250 million views. This has prompted concerns about the potential harms of these unregulated products, according to a June 22, 2022, CNN article. The products promote the colorist idea that lighter skin colors …

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