Prevention

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.

Lowering nicotine in cigarettes

Mallika Marshall, MD

Contributing Editor

With the intent of making cigarettes less addictive, the FDA has proposed lowering nicotine levels, which could also make it easier for smokers to quit.

Screening mammograms: One recommendation may not fit all

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Research shows that the risk of breast cancer, and its severity, is greater for women of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. These factors have not yet been included in formal guidelines for screening mammograms, but women need to be aware of them.

Cholesterol: Understanding HDL vs. LDL

When you hear the phrase “high cholesterol,” what exactly does it mean? Doctors often focus on two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. Understanding the differences, and knowing your cholesterol levels, are the first steps to improving your cholesterol profile and lowering heart disease risk.

Can DNA markers predict aging?

A newly available test offers to provide information about your telomeres, parts of your DNA that are considered markers of aging, but on its own this information is of little value, and you can make beneficial lifestyle changes without paying for a test.

What patients — and doctors — need to know about vitamins and supplements

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

While certain groups of people, and those who have certain conditions, can benefit from taking vitamins or supplements, most people will do better obtaining the nutrients they need from eating a health, balanced diet.

6 simple things that can help lower your blood pressure

With the recent updating of blood pressure guidelines, many people have found themselves in a higher-risk category. But making some small lifestyle changes can help get blood pressure down to a healthier level.

Knowing when to screen… and when to quit

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Medical screening tests can help detect problems before they become hard to treat. Many screening tests are recommended for adults or when a person has certain risk factors. But when should screening stop? A new study examines this issue for colonoscopies.