Prevention

Give yourself an annual health self-assessment

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

An annual health self-assessment—a full analysis of your well-being—is a way to evaluate your status, taking into account both what you have accomplished and where you may be able to improve.

Is hand sanitizer better at preventing the flu than soap and water?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

In an eight-month study of toddlers in day care, researchers compared handwashing with soap and water to frequent and rigorous use of hand sanitizer. While the results were better for the hand sanitizer group, the study conditions may not reflect real-world hand hygiene.

More water, fewer UTIs?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Many women have urinary tract infections (UTIs), but researchers found that when women with recurring UTIs drank significantly more water each day, their frequency of infection was cut in half.

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, part 2

The results of another clinical trial add to the evidence that healthy people without a history of cardiovascular disease should not take a daily aspirin for the prevention of a heart attack or stroke.

Healthy lifestyle can prevent diabetes (and even reverse it)

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Twenty years of medical research confirms that it is possible to prevent diabetes through lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity. For some people diabetes medications can also help, and in fact medication and lifestyle changes work especially well together.

Home cooking: Healthy family meals

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

When families eat dinner together, the benefits to children go beyond nutrition. Family meals can lead to improved academic performance and self-esteem. Involving the kids in preparing dinner also enriches the experience.

Health benefits of walnuts

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The benefits of nuts on cardiovascular health have been known for some time, but an analysis of multiple trials found particular health benefits of walnuts. The data showed that people who ate a diet enriched with walnuts had lower cholesterol than those who ate a standard diet.

Healthy lifestyle: 5 keys to a longer life

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

You’ve probably heard it over and over, but research continues to show that following five simple healthy lifestyle habits makes a significant difference in life expectancy for both women and men, and the more of them you have, the longer you are likely to live.

Sun protection: Appropriate sunscreen use

Dominic Wu, MD

Contributing Editor

While our bodies need sunlight for vitamin D production, the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation mean that everyone should be mindful of sun protection, in particular, the importance of using sunscreen regularly and correctly.

4 ways to protect against skin cancer (other than sunscreen)

While sunscreen is essential for skin protection when spending time outdoors, there are other options (lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter products) that can help lower your risk of skin cancer.