Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:

  • Your computer's Internet Protocol (IP) address. (An IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you go on the Web.)
  • The domain from which you access the Internet (for example,, if you are connecting from an America Online account, or if you are connecting from Wake Forest University's domain).
  • The Internet address of the website, if any, from which you came to our site (for example, if you come to our website by clicking on an NHLBI link on the National Institutes of Health website).
  • The date and time you arrived at our site and how long you spent visiting the site.
  • The name and version of your computer's operating system and browser: for example, Windows 95/Netscape Navigator 4.5. (This information is supplied automatically by your computer.)
  • The pages you visit.

We use this information to help us make the site more useful to visitors -- to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, no additional information will be collected about you.

If You Send Us Personal Information

If you choose to provide us with personal information, either by E-mail or by filling out a form and submitting it to us through the website, this information will not be released, disclosed, sold, or transferred to any outside source unless required by law or court order.

Occasionally, we use pop-up forms to obtain feedback from visitors on how well the site is meeting their needs. Any time this happens, you are free to close the window and resume browsing; you are not required to provide any information in order to use this site.

If You Send Us E-mail

If you send us E-mail, we will collect and store your E-mail address and the content of the E-mail, including any personal information you chose to include, and will use it only to respond to your request quickly and accurately. However, E-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If you are worried because your communication is very sensitive, you can send it by postal mail instead.

If You Fill Out Online Forms

Certain areas like the "NHLBI Online Catalog" and the "Join the Health Information Network" include forms where you actively enter your personal information. We use this personal information to ship you products or to provide you with the latest health and research information. Specifically:

  • When you order, we need to know your name, E-mail address, mailing address. This allows us to process and fill your order and to notify you of your order status.
  • When you sign up for services like "Join the Health Information Network", we need only an E-mail address, which we use to send the information you requested. We also collect information about your interests in order to send health information that more accurately meets your needs. You do not have to provide this additional information to receive the service.
  • We may also use the information we collect to occasionally notify you about important changes to the website, new NHLBI services, and special offers we think you may find valuable.
  • When placing an order from the NHLBI Online Catalog, you are specifically asked if you would like to receive E-mail updates about new NHLBI publications and services. If you check this box, your E-mail address will be placed on a contact list used exclusively for the dissemination of information by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This contact list will not be released to any outside organizations.

PRA Burden Statement: NHLBI Website Surveys for Page Feedback and Website Satisfaction

OMB Control #: 0925-0648, Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925-0648). Do not return the completed form to this address.

All questions are optional and you may exit the survey at any time.


Some pages on this website, like the NHLBI Online Catalog, employ "cookies". A cookie is a small file that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk to allow the server to "remember" specific information about your session while you are connected. Requests to send cookies are not designed to collect information about you, but only about your "browser session". The cookies make it easier for you to use the dynamic features of our website. We do not collect personal information about you except as described above. More information is available on this use of persistent cookies from the NIH website

Session Cookies

We use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation through our site. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1 — Single Session.” The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies."

Persistent Cookies

We use persistent cookies to enable Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning visitors. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to until they expire. We also use persistent cookies to block repeated invitations to take the ACSI survey. The persistent cookies that block repeated survey invitations expire in 90 days. The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier 2 — Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII).” The policy says, "This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected."

How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies

If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your Web browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources at Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located here. Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from

Links to Other Sites

Our websites have links to many other organizations. Once you follow a link to any other site, you are subject to its privacy policy.

Your Consent

By using our websites, you consent to the collection and use of this information by NHLBI as described in this document. If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page so that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it.

Intrusion Detection

This site is maintained by the U.S. Government. It is protected by various provisions of Title 18, U.S. Code. Violations of Title 18 are subject to criminal prosecution in federal court.

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

Questions about NHLBI privacy policies should be e-mailed to the NHLBI Privacy Act Officer.

Questions about NHLBI website privacy policies should be sent to the Web Maintenance Team.

Social Media and Third Party Websites

As part of the Open Government Directive, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) uses a variety of technologies such as new media and social networks to communicate and interact with its audiences. Third party websites and applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, etc., are Web-based technologies that are not exclusively operated or controlled by the government or that involve significant participation by a nongovernment entity. These technologies are often hosted on a ".com" website or other location that is not part of an official government domain; third party applications can also be embedded or incorporated into an agency's official website.

Visitors do not need to have an account with these new media or social networks to view information posted by the NHLBI. To use the interactive features such as posting comments, "liking" an NHLBI Facebook page, or following the NHLBI's tweets, however, visitors must create an account with the social network and log in. To create an account, users must provide some personal information, such as name, user name, password, and e-mail address. Users often have the option to provide additional personal information including a short biography, location, or a picture.

Any information users choose to provide to third party organizations through registration or other interactions is voluntarily contributed and is not collected by the NHLBI, NIH, or any HHS entity. Using these applications, however, could expose personally identifiable information (PII) or make it accessible to the NHLBI, regardless of whether the NHLBI solicits or collects it. Account holders can modify how much of their information is visible by modifying their account settings. Furthermore, visitors can avoid sharing any PII by not creating an account or using the interactive features.

NHLBI's use of Web measurement and customization technologies will comply with existing NIH and HHS privacy and data safeguarding policies. Records that contain information about an individual and are designed to be retrieved by the individual's name or other personal identifier are covered by the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).

The NHLBI uses the following new media and third party websites or applications: The NHLBI uses to shorten long nongovernment URLs for use in Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. analytics show how many people clicked on the URLs but do not provide any PII about the visitors who opened the shortened links. The privacy policy is available at:

Facebook: The NHLBI has four Facebook pages: National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)The Heart TruthWe Can!, and COPD Learn More Breathe Better.

The NHLBI uses Facebook to post news and other items of interests regarding NHLBI research advances and health education campaigns. The NHLBI does not collect, use, or disclose any information about visitors who comment or "like" the NHLBI on Facebook. As part of its monitoring policy, however, the NHLBI might document inappropriate comments and share them with NHLBI officials, as appropriate.

Facebook collects and reports on non-PII about activities on Facebook pages. This information is password protected and available only to NHLBI Facebook account managers and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties. The Facebook privacy policy is available at:

GovDelivery subscription management: The NHLBI uses GovDelivery to alert subscribers of new or updated content on the NHLBI website. To subscribe to this service, users must provide an e-mail address and indicate their subscription preferences, including the items they want to receive. Subscribers may also answer an optional question about how they describe themselves using broad categories; NHLBI uses this information to better understand its subscribers.

All information collected through GovDelivery, including subscriber emails and answers to the optional question, are password protected and accessed only by NHLBI account managers. Subscriber lists will not be shared with anyone outside the NHLBI. GovDelivery also collects and provides non-identifying information about the number of sent messages, clicks, and open rates. The GovDelivery privacy policy is available at:

Twitter: The NHLBI has six Twitter accounts: @NIH_NHLBI@NHLBI_HEARTDir@TheHeartTruth@Breathe Better(COPD)@NHLBI_SBIR, and @NHLBI_TTransfer.

The NHLBI uses Twitter to send short messages (up to 140 characters), or 'tweets', to share featured updates from the NHLBI, health tips, links to health materials and resources, and updates about education campaign activities. The NHLBI does not collect, maintain, or disclose any information about people who follow NHLBI on Twitter. As part of its monitoring procedures, the NHLBI may record the username and offensive or inappropriate comment to document why a particular follower was blocked. The Twitter privacy policy is available at:

Widgets: The NHLBI offers a variety of widgets that deliver small versions of selected NHLBI site content to other online locations outside of the site where the content originated. Widgets are portable pieces of code. Visitors can install the widgets on any PC or Mac Web page without requiring additional coding or configuration. NHLBI widgets deliver information and links to any site or application where the widgets are installed. NHLBI widgets do not collect any type of personally identifying information from visitors who install them. The privacy policy is available at:

YouTube: The NHLBI's YouTube channel is available at The NHLBI posts videos on YouTube to make them available to all visitors. Registration with either YouTube or Google (YouTube owner) is not necessary to watch NHLBI videos. If, however, a visitor logs in to YouTube before watching NHLBI videos, YouTube may associate information about the site use with the visitor's YouTube account. Furthermore, if that visitor leaves a comment on an NHLBI video, any personal information included when registering for the account will be visible to anyone who clicks on the comment. YouTube may record non-PII about its site usage, such as channels used, videos watched, and data transfer details to improve its services. The YouTube privacy policy is available at:

Crazy Egg: NHLBI uses CrazyEgg to obtain information on how visitors are interacting with specific NHLBI Web pages. This allows NHLBI to evaluate and, if necessary or beneficial, to modify its websites to improve value and usability. The data Crazy Egg collects includes information about as how visitors navigate around a Web page and the most commonly clicked links on a specific Web page. Crazy Egg does not collect personally identifiable information. The Crazy Egg Privacy Policy is available at

Mobile applications: The NHLBI offers mobile applications that provide health information or educational services through your smartphone or tablet computer. When you install and use the NHLBI’s mobile applications (apps), certain information will be gathered and stored about your usage of the app. Your personal information is not transmitted to the NHLBI.

The anonymous information collected allows us to better serve our mobile users. The NHLBI receives aggregate data about the use of our apps, such as the number of times the apps have been opened and the interactions completed while using the application. These data are gathered via a third-party provider. We also receive aggregate data from the platforms that distribute our apps (currently the iTunes Store and Google Play Store), such as the number of mobile users who download the app and mobile set-up information (e.g., device model, app version, and mobile carrier). Please consult the privacy policies of these third parties for further information.

NHLBI Social Media Comment Policy 

The NHLBI encourages comments. The NHLBI reviews all the comments, but we cannot respond to every comment. To ensure a respectful dialogue, the NHLBI will require the following guidelines to be followed by all commenters: 

  • Stay focused. All viewpoints are welcome, but comments and links should remain relevant to the topics being discussed.  
  • Be respectful. Personal attacks, profanity, and aggressive behavior are prohibited. Instigating arguments in a disrespectful way is also prohibited.  
  • Tell the truth. Misleading or false information and unsupported accusations are prohibited.
  • No spam. Repeated posting of identical or very similar content in a counter-productive manner is prohibited.  
  • No product endorsement. Share your experience without naming a specific product or service, including political preferences. Marketing or promotion of a particular vendor, product, service, political parties or candidates is prohibited.  

The NHLBI retains the discretion to determine which comments violate our comment policy. The NHLBI also reserves the right to remove and/or not allow comments to be posted. The views expressed within posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of the NHLBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the federal government. Reporters, journalists, and other media professionals are requested to contact the NHLBI Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education, and Communications (OSPEEC) at (301) 496-5449 and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. These types of questions will not be posted or answered.  

We recognize that the web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and answering comments will occur during regular business hours (8 am - 5 pm), M-F, except for federal holidays. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends or holidays, will be monitored as early as possible the next business day. To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include phone numbers, email addresses or any other personal identifiable information in the body of your comment.  

  • Medical Disclaimer: As a research Institute, the NHLBI does not provide referrals to doctors or counsel people on the prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of specific medical problems. Advice on treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician or other health professional that has examined the patient and is familiar with the patient's medical history. - Photo/Video: Visitors are prohibited from posting copyrighted photos and/or videos to the page without written permission of the copyright owner. The NHLBI reserves the right to remove any materials that violate copyright laws. 
  • External Link/Endorsement Disclaimer: The NHLBI page includes links to external websites. These links are for your convenience and to supplement NHLBI content. In general, the NHLBI links to: 
    • Other federal agencies. 
    • NHLBI partners. 
    • Organizations with which we have a formal relationship (such as a Memorandum of Understanding, license, or development agreement).

Selection of external links is at the NHLBI discretion and does not imply endorsement of external organizations, their products and services. The NHLBI does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked external websites. The NHLBI links to government information according to our linking policy, whether or not the other website links to us.

The NHLBI reserves the right to remove links to external websites that do not meet our policies:  

  • Facebook Rights and Responsibilities: Visitors who become fans or friends of this page, or otherwise use or interact with the website, agree to adhere to the Facebook Principles and to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities  
  • Privacy: Please consider carefully what you choose to post about yourself. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments. Any information users choose to provide to third party organizations through registration or other interactions is voluntarily contributed and is not collected by the NHLBI, NIH, or any HHS entity. Using these applications, however, could expose personally identifiable information (PII) or make it accessible to the NHLBI, regardless of whether the NHLBI solicits or collects it. Accountholders can adjust how much of their information is visible by modifying their account settings. Please review Facebook’s privacy policy. 
  • Media: Reporters are asked to send questions to the Institute's Press Team and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Please call the NHLBI OSPEEC at 301-496-5449 and ask for the press officer on duty or send an email to