The body mass index formula may be simple – take your weight (in kilograms), and divide by the square of your height (in metres) – but is it worth using?

There are few single measures in healthcare that seem to carry as much weight as body mass index, or BMI. We encounter it not just at doctors’ offices(...)

Health workers attend to a suspected Covid-19  patient in Kolkata,  India on Saturday. Photograph: Piyal Adhikary/EPA

India’s coronavirus infections rose by 346,786 overnight, the health ministry said on Saturday, setting a new world record for the third consecutive (...)

Covid-19: Boston study’s findings may help answer one of the most perplexing questions about the virus: how long does immunity last?

Researchers at a US hospital in Boston have identified a group of patients who have quickly recovered from Covid-19 and display indications of having (...)

Regarding the new Open Notes programme in the United States, Dr Charlotte Blease told The Irish Times: ‘On a broad level, it restores a sense of control for patients.’ Photograph: iStock

If there is one health system in the world that is synonymous with lack of progress, it’s the health service in the US. Despite huge spending, health (...)

Photograph: iStock

A research team from the Ulster University Centre for Personalised Medicine has developed a novel therapy which could have far-reaching implications f(...)

The changes that ripple through our network of immune cells as the decades pass are complex, resulting in an overreaction here, a delayed response there and, overall, a strangely altered landscape of immunity. Photograph: iStock

Coronavirus patients who are 80 or older are hundreds of times more likely to die than those under 40. That’s partly because they are more likely to h(...)

Michael Crichton: chose not to practise medicine and instead became a one-man entertainment industry. Photograph: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

As a self-published writer with a comic novel and two column collections to my name, I have little time for the precious sensibilities of the traditio(...)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP

Shin Dong Yun, a scientist from the North Korean Institute of Virology, rushed to the northwestern border with China in early February. There, he cond(...)

Kylene Karnuth, a clinical lab scientist, works with coronavirus samples as researchers begin a trial to see whether malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of the coronavirus disease  at the University of Minnesota, US. Photograph:  Craig Lassig/Reuters

A race is being fought from every corner of the world to find a coronavirus vaccine. It is an immense effort involving co-operation between countries,(...)

Pills or placebo? Science may not be the only way to understand illness and healing and that the placebo effect is a biological response to the act of caring –  the rituals involved trigger specific neurobiological pathways that modulate body sensations, symptoms and emotions

According to my Collins dictionary, a placebo is “an inactive substance or other sham form of therapy administered to a patient usually to compare its(...)

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