WBUR Staff

Rachel Zimmerman

CommonHealth Co-host, WBUR

Rachel Zimmerman worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 10 years, most recently at the Boston bureau covering health and medicine. She’s also written for The New York Times, the (now-defunct) Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the alternative paper, Willamette Week, in Portland, Oregon, among other publications. She is the co-author of The Doula Guide To Birth (2009), published by Bantam/Random House. In 2008, she spent the year as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Rachel lives in Cambridge with her two daughters.

Recent stories

Why To Exercise Today: To Promote Cognitive Health (It’s Official)

April 16, 2015
Diabetes Care/flickr

The Institute of Medicine’s number one recommendation to help mitigate the impacts of cognitive aging: be physically active.

The Complex Interplay Of Genetics And The Placebo Response

April 14, 2015
Instant Vantage/flickr

A provocative new paper introducing the concept of a “placebome” — that is, the complex interplay between genetics and an individual’s response to placebos — raises questions that might ultimately lead to changes in how clinical studies of drugs are evaluated.

Sexual Reality: The Checkup Podcast Debunks A Few Myths (Like Size And Age Matter…)

April 14, 2015
The Checkup

We bring you surprises about penis size, stories of great sex over 70 and new insights on how both men and women are lied to about their sexuality.

Shops Remove Possibly Dangerous Diet Supplements After Study Faults FDA

April 09, 2015
Mike Mozart/flickr

“We are concerned by the findings outlined in the study published yesterday,” said a statement from The Vitamin Shoppe. “If these findings are confirmed by the FDA, these products should not be sold as dietary supplements.”

Harvard Study: Better Police Reports On Bike Crashes Could Save Lives

April 03, 2015
A "ghost bike" is placed in memory of Marcia Deihl, who was killed in a crash in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 11. (Rachel Zimmerman/WBUR)

There are more cyclists on the road, and more of them are getting hurt in accidents, some fatal. How do we make the bike environment safer? One study is looking at police crash reports.

Forbidden Fruit: Pesticide-Laden Produce Linked To Lower Semen Quality, Study Finds

April 02, 2015
Robert S. Donovon/flickr

The study found that men who ate a range of fruits and vegetables with high pesticide residue had a lower sperm count and a lower percentage of normally-shaped sperm compared to men who ate produce with less pesticide residue.

Patient Empowerment: Why Angelina Jolie’s Menopause Matters

March 25, 2015
Angelina Jolie (Gage Skidmore/flickr)

One of the primary reasons that many high risk women do not move ahead with the same recommendation to remove their ovaries is fear of menopause and worry about quality of life.

Dementia As A Global Public Health ‘Tidal Wave’

March 19, 2015
World Health Organization/youtube

According to the WHO: Dementia currently affects more than 47 million people worldwide, with more than 75 million people estimated to be living with dementia by 2030. The number is expected to triple by 2050.

Conflicts Abound In Research Studies On Food, Nutrition, Expert Notes

March 17, 2015

In a recent post on her blog, Food Politics, Marion Nestle makes a clear case that food and nutrition ‘research’ is riddled with conflicts of interests.

A Podcast For Your Brain: The Checkup, Episode 8

March 17, 2015
The Checkup

The brain is on our brains in the latest episode of The Checkup, our recently relaunched health news podcast, a joint venture between WBUR and Slate.

At 45, Caught Between Mammograms

November 17, 2009

New research says most women under 50 don’t need routine mammograms. That’s confusing news to a 45-year-old woman whose recent mammogram turned up a calcification.

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