NIH News Update
National Library of Medicine

Friday, January 26, 2001

Contact: Robert Mehnert
Kathleen Cravedi
(301) 496-6308

One-Stop Shopping for Health Information on the Internet: MEDLINEplus

(BETHESDA, MD.)— "So many sites and so little time," is the plaint of many faced with searching the web for health information. Finding up-to-date health information just became a bit easier with the addition of a daily health news feed from the major U.S. print media to the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINEplus consumer-friendly site.

Every weekday morning the home page of (that's the complete address) will be updated with health-related articles selected from the Associated Press, New York Times Syndicate, and United Press International. The Library has made special arrangements with the publishers to make the articles available, and more sources will be added in the future. They will not only be listed on the home page, but each will be linked to one or more of the 430 "health topics" within MEDLINEplus. Thus, for example, someone interested in diabetes will find a section called "Latest News" at the top of the diabetes page.

In addition to highlighting important news items on the MEDLINEplus home page, a complete list of news items from the last 30 days is also available, a feature that may prove especially useful to librarians.

"We realize how important it is for people who search for information on the web, for their personal health and that of their families, to be able to go to a site they trust. This latest news feature from authoritative press sources is a new and welcome addition to our service," said Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., director of the National Library of Medicine. MEDLINEplus draws on the extensive resources of the National Institutes of Health and other reliable, non-commercial sites. No registration is ever required for MEDLINEplus users.

MEDLINEplus, which was introduced in October 1998, receives a remarkable 5 million page hits each month. Usage has doubled in just the past 6 months. In addition to the "health topics" on individual diseases and medical conditions, the site also has an extensive medical encyclopedia with thousands of illustrations, detailed information about more than 9,000 brand name and generic prescription and over the counter drugs, a medical dictionary, directories of doctors and hospitals, and links to, the NIH web site listing more than 5,000 clinical studies. There are even links to the scientific database, MEDLINE, so that the user can have access to the latest published research.

The National Library of Medicine, which is the world's largest library of the health sciences, is a part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The Library has an extensive Web site at that provides a great variety of information for the general public and for health professionals.