Prevention

Good news about the HPV vaccine

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The administration of the HPV vaccine has significantly lowered rates of infection among the population it is intended to protect, as well as among those who have not been vaccinated.

Flu shots during pregnancy

Andrea Chisholm, MD
Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor

A recent small study linked the flu shot during pregnancy with an increased risk for miscarriage. However it did not establish that the flu shot causes miscarriage. Despite these results, pregnant women should be reassured that the benefits of getting a flu shot outweigh any potential risk.

How smart are you about car seats?

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

How much do you know about car seats, and the guidelines for their safe use in your car? Our quiz has the answers.

10 things parents should know about flu shots

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Even though it’s only the beginning of September, parents should be thinking about scheduling flu shots for their children (and themselves). Here’s the latest information everyone needs to know about getting vaccinated.

Get SMART about your goals to stay focused and on track at any age

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

As we age our lives may not have the same focus or direction they did when we were younger. Maintaining goals is an excellent way to stay sharp and bring new focus to older age. The SMART approach ensures you’ve defined your goals clearly and can attain them.

Intensive lifestyle change: It works, and it’s more than diet and exercise

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

It’s not easy to make significant lifestyle changes, but it can be done, and research shows that it works. It’s an intensive commitment with a psychological component as important as the diet and fitness components.

Mind over matter? How fit you think you are versus actual fitness

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

A study of over 60,000 people who were followed for as long as two decades found that people’s perceptions about their level of activity have a more significant effect on their longevity than their actual fitness.

Ticks and the changing landscape of tick-borne illnesses

Wynne Armand, MD
Wynne Armand, MD, Contributing Editor

Ticks are being found in more places, and they are carrying newly discovered bacteria, meaning it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your family when you are outdoors.

Does drinking diet soda raise the risk of a stroke?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

While a study suggests that people who drink a diet soda or more per day may be at higher risk for stroke, there are other factors that could account for these results. Regardless, it’s wise to limit any food with artificial sweetener.

Vitamin D: Finding a balance

Emily S. Ruiz, MD, MPH
Emily S. Ruiz, MD, MPH, Contributor

The best way to get the vitamin D your body needs is through sun exposure, but since many people are now more vigilant about sun protection, eating foods rich in the vitamin is preferable to taking a supplement. It’s also important to be aware that too much vitamin D can be harmful.