Risks and Prevention Archive


Be wise about bee and wasp stings

In most cases, bee, wasp, or hornet stings can be treated with simple remedies. For example, placing a cold pack on the sting site helps reduce swelling. Applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream helps relieve swelling and itching, too. Taking an antihistamine—such as fexofenadine (Allegra) or loratadine (Claritin)—also eases itching. If symptoms persist for a few days, it's time to call a doctor. If a severe allergic response develops—indicated by difficulty breathing or hives—it's crucial to call 911 for help and get an injection of epinephrine as soon as possible.

A new tool to predict heart disease risk

The PREVENT equation is a new online calculator to predict a person's odds of developing heart disease. Compared to previous calculators, the updated tool considers broader measures of health (including biomarkers for kidney and metabolic health) and a longer age span (starting at 30 instead of 40 years of age). The goal is to encourage earlier, more targeted strategies to help people avoid cardiovascular problems.

Cancer concerns from everyday products

Some products people use daily have been associated with increased cancer risks. Examples are aspartame, nonstick cookware, mattresses, cleaning products, and personal care products. While evidence is mixed, most consumer products confer low cancer risks, if any. People who are concerned about exposure to these common products should find alternatives. People can also reduce their overall cancer risks by stopping smoking, avoiding alcohol, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Warding off germs this winter: What's helpful, what's not

Avoiding germs that cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses is especially important during the winter months, when cases are on the rise. Learn which strategies keep you safe. 

Health-savvy house hunting

When people house-hunt in their 50s and 60s, they should consider home features that enable them to age in place if they become less mobile. Such architectural details include fewer or no stairs, bright lighting, an open layout, cabinets that aren't too high, and bathrooms with step-in showers. Outside amenities are also important, including nearby health care facilities, stores, pharmacies, and parks. A vibrant community can expand people's social options and provide proximity to neighbors to call if needed.

3 strategies for safer home workouts

Home workouts often lead to injuries, such as muscle strains and falls. To reduce injury risks, people should choose a well-ventilated, clutter-free space with a level floor and plenty of room to move; add safety essentials to the space, such as an exercise mat, a mirror to help maintain the proper exercise form, and a smart speaker to call for help if needed; and practice safe exercise habits, such as warming up before a workout and then stretching afterward.

Staying safe while getting well

Preventable adverse medical events occur in up to 7% of hospital admissions and sometimes can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. Examples include inaccurate medications, unexpected infections, and problems during surgery. To help protect yourself from these events in the hospital, have a trusted partner be with you as much as possible, inquire about each of your medications when offered, and work with your nurse to move around safely.

Women's heart attacks more strongly connected to different risk factors than men's

A 2022 study found that women under 55 experiencing heart attacks have different leading risk factors than men in this age group. For women, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and low household income are strong risk factors for heart attack.

Asking about guns in houses where your child plays

Between 2015 and 2020, there were more than 2,000 unintentional shootings in the US by children under 18. Parents can help reduce the chance of an accidental shooting by asking about gun security at homes where their children play.

Recognizing and preventing sun allergies

There are several types of "sun allergies," including polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), hives, and photoallergic reactions. Learn about these different reactions to sun exposure, as well as prevention and treatment.

Result 1 - 10 of 24

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.