A new vaccine for shingles

The varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox as well as shingles. There are vaccines to prevent both conditions. The vaccine for shingles has been recently updated, and provides protection for a longer period of time.

The decline in cervical cancer

With the advent of Pap smears and immunization against certain types of HPV, the incidence of cervical cancer in this country has plummeted in the past 50 years.

Leave the lettuce

“Locavore” was anointed 2007’s word of the year by the Oxford American English Dictionary. Since then the idea of wanting to eat closer to home has only gained traction, which has naturaly invited skepticism. Number-crunchers have found enough cases of ...

Prevalence of obesity: An upward curve

Obesity is a major risk factor for the incidence of many illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in this country.

Life expectancy takes another dip

Life expectancy in the U.S. population had a decrease of 0.1 year between 2015 and 2016, according to a data brief by the National Center for Health Statistics. You might say that’s not significant and too minor to even mention. ...

Roxbury Community College — Your future is our focus

The New Roxbury Community College (RCC) is now open! The College is currently undergoing $72.5 million in renovations; and, our fully-renovated Media Arts Center, new Student Commons, and new Health Sciences Building opened in September 2017. In January 2018, the ...

Meatless holiday

As the days get short and blustery and we dig in for the holidays, I find myself pondering the Tofurky, and how we got here. The soy-and-wheat-based cylinder was designed to resemble a baked stuffed turkey with gravy, and it ...

Addiction in the elderly: An overlooked group

It’s hard to imagine your kindly white-haired grandmother may have a substance use disorder (SUD). But it’s very possible. In 2015 drug overdose death rates increased for all age groups, including those 65 and older, according to the Centers for ...

‘Standing orders’: An approach to overdose prevention

The epidemic of opiate overdoses in Massachusetts has abated somewhat this year, and the reduction may be due in part to the widespread availability of naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan. Opioids can slow or even stop one’s breathing when ...

Mental illness and addiction: often hand in hand

Substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health illness are two different conditions, but you might call them siblings of sort. The link between them is often strong.

Veggie heaven

It’s been a year since the Impossible Burger finally made its debut, after five years of buzz.

Boston public schools: an asthma-friendly school district

School nurses see their fair share of asthma. “In 2015-16, we had 10,724 patients with a documented diagnosis of asthma,” explained Patricia Kenney, nurse liaison for Children with Special Health Care Needs in the Boston Public Schools That amounts to ...

Neonatal abstinence syndrome

When you hear the words “substance use disorder,” (SUD) the image of a male immediately comes to mind for most people. That’s understandable. In this country the SUD rate for males ages 12 and older is 10 percent versus 5.7 ...

Mold: a common asthma trigger

Mold is a trigger for many people with asthma. It is possible to prevent mold or eradicate it if it forms.

Severe persistent asthma

Asthma ranges in severity from periodic to severe persistent. However, even persistent asthma can be controlled with medication and avoidance of triggers.