FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2001: Vol. 2, Issue 1
Feature Articles

Message from the Director

It was a pleasure to meet with many of you in January at the Institute's Second Annual Public Interest Organization Meeting. Such meetings are essential for the Institute and our National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council to learn how we can better meet the needs of our constituents. I urge you to tap into the cooperative spirit that was apparent at this year's meeting by developing ways to work together toward common goals. If you know of specific activities that the NHLBI can undertake or facilitate to help you to help one another, please let us know by writing to

As many at the meeting noted, you can help us "get the message out" by distributing materials such as the FYI from the NHLBI. To celebrate May as High Blood Pressure Education month, show your loved ones that food can be good for you and taste good at the same time; make a meal using recipes from our Interactive Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure.

Join Together Against Asthma

This year's World Asthma Day, celebrated on May 3, draws attention to the global burden of asthma and the need to improve asthma care worldwide. The theme, Joining Together Against Asthma recognizes the need for persistent and collective efforts at local, national, and international levels to address this growing problem.

We also have been working on other outreach activities. This February, the NHLBI and other federal agencies made a formal commitment with the American Heart Association to coordinate efforts to reduce the impact of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. As a part of this endeavor, we are supporting several population- and community-based public education and health promotion programs about the warning signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, many of which will be featured in future FYI from the NHLBI issues.

Sincerely yours,
Claude Lenfant, M.D.
Modified 4/30/01
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NIH Sites Recognized as Leading Sources of Health Information

When Time Inc.'s ON Magazine picked its Best Health Web Sites, it included NIH-sponsored Web sites such as MEDLINEplus and

The March 5, 2001, issue also contained an article featuring online information sources geared toward educating patients about clinical trials, which included an interview with's Dr. Alexa McCray who spoke at the NHLBI's Second Annual Public Interest Organization Meeting.

A third article described how patients were researching health information on sites such as MEDLINE and using the information to stimulate discussions with their physicians. According to the article, many physicians welcome the opportunity to learn from their patients, particularly when patients bring them information from respected, peer-reviewed publications.

Modified 4/30/01
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Internet Searches are Affecting Health Care Decisions and Concerns

According to a report supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts: 55% of American adults who have access to the internet have used the Web to get health or medical information. Of these 52 million "health seekers"
  • 70% looked for information about a specific condition.
  • 81% learned something during their last online visit.
  • 13% sought information about fitness and nutrition.
  • 48% followed advice from the Web to improve the way they take care of themselves.
  • 16% used the internet to get information on a health subject that is hard to talk about.
  • 89% worry that companies will collect and share data about sites they visited.
  • 9% exchanged emails with the doctor.
  • 63% oppose the idea of keeping medical records online.
  • 81% think people should be able to sue a health or medical site if it gives away information about its customers after saying it would not.
Source: Pew Internet and American Life. "The online health care revolution: How the Web helps Americans take better care of themselves."
Modified 4/30/01
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And the Winners Are . . .

All of us are winners when we get enough sleep, and no one knows that more than the three lucky children and their families who won a trip to Washington, DC, to kick off the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research "Star Sleeper Campaign" with Garfield the cat. Children across the United States submitted their suggestions for a comic strip depicting Garfield doing something silly because he didn't get enough sleep the night before.

Students in the Star Sleeper Contest were asked to determine the final panel of this Garfield comic. Cartoonist Jim Davis then drew the endings suggested by the children. The entries with the best endings to Garfield's statement that "I was so tired today that I" were:
Katie Seamon, age 10, from Pittsburgh, PA Xavier Powers, age 9, from Alliance, OH Danny Strohman, age 8, from Duluth, MN
kissed Nermal instead of my mirror. wore gloves for shoes and shoes for gloves. fell asleep in my pan of lasagna.
Modified 4/30/01
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