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For Health Consumers and Patients

MLA Top Health Websites

The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) of MLA evaluates websites based on the following criteria: credibility, sponsorship/authorship, content, audience, currency (timeliness), disclosure, purpose, links, design, interactivity, and disclaimers. The following websites have been deemed particularly useful (in each area, sites are listed in alphabetical, NOT ranked, order).

General Health | Cancer | Breast Cancer | Diabetes | Eye Disease | Heart Disease | HIV/AIDS | Stroke 

General Health Sites

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Website features: The "Diseases and Conditions" section covers major chronic and many infectious diseases, plus birth defects, traveler's health, emergency preparedness, vaccine and immunization information, accidents and injury information, and workplace safety and health. Also provides information in Spanish.
    Website features: Reliable health information written at a lower reading level, with sections for children, teens, and seniors. All information is written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the American Academy of Family Physicians.  Search conditions and diseases by name, symptom, or age most commonly affected. Provides many helpful health tools, such as a symptom checker, dictionary, BMI calculator, an immunization schedule, plus drug information and health management advice.
  • healthfinder®
    Website features: reliable information from approximately 1,400 health-related organizations. Includes tools for finding health services and support, National Health Observances toolkits, and information about health care reform. The “en Español” links to a mirror site in Spanish.
  • HIV InSite
    Website features: Site from the University of California San Francisco provides comprehensive, up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Link is to area of the site for patients and the public.
  • Kidshealth®
    Website features: From the Nemours nonprofit children's health system; site provides doctor-reviewed advice on physical, emotional, and behavioral topics with separate sections for parents, kids, and teens. Available in English and Spanish, with an English section for educators.
  • Mayo Clinic
    Website features: a wealth of easy-to-understand health and medical information.  In addition to comprehensive disease and condition guides the site includes descriptions of drugs, supplements, tests, and procedures; healthy living guides; a symptom checker; and expert blogs.
  • MedlinePlus (English | Spanish)
    Website features: this National Library of Medicine comprehensive consumer health information site provides coverage for many categories included on this list. It is an excellent first choice for consumer health information.
  • National Institute on Aging: Health Information

Cancer Websites

MLA's Cancer Librarians Section maintains a list of recommended websites on cancer and related topicsIf you are looking for a library that can answer cancer-related questions, consult this list compiled by the Cancer Libraries Section

Breast Cancer Websites

  • American Cancer Society
    Website features: news, information on types of cancer, patient services, treatment options, sections on children with cancer and living with cancer, and cancer statistics.
  • Association of Cancer Online Resources
    Website features: links to cancer email lists, resources, cancer topics, treatment options, clinical trials, and publications.
    Website features: tips for lowering risk, information on symptoms and diagnosis, news and research, library of terms, interactive discussion lists, treatment options, and downloadable brochures.
  • Cancer Care
    Website features: online support groups, webcast/telephone workshops, resources, links to support, educational, treatment, and information services.
  • Foundation for Womens' Cancer
    Website features: the types of cancer that affect women, cancer risks for women, and a search engine to locate gynecologic oncologists; includes links to related sites, publications, and support groups.
  • Intercultural Cancer Council
    Website features: cancer statistics and fact sheets about minorities and underserved populations, news, and resource links.
  • National Cancer Institute
    Website features: information on types of cancer; treatment options; clinical trials; genetics, causes, risk factors, and prevention; testing; and coping and support resources.
  • Oncolink
    Website features a collection of web resources on the prevention and treatment of cancer maintained by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania; includes news, book reviews, and disease and patient support links. 

Diabetes Websites

  • American Diabetes Association
    Website features: news section, overview of the disease, risk test, statistics, nutrition, and health recipes section. Also available in Spanish.
  • Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School
    Website features: news section, discussion boards, library of terms, online classes, Spanish and Asian-American sections.
  • Children With Diabetes
    Website features: news section, library of terms, childrens' section, parents' section, and 'ask the experts' section.
  • MedlinePlus: Diabetes
    Website features: overviews, latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention, medical encyclopedia, reltaed topics, alternative therapy, disease management, tutorials and videos. Available in many languages.
  • National Diabetes Education Program (US National Institutes of Health [NIH] and Centers for Disease Control [CDC])
    Website features: information for minorities, Spanish-language and Asian-American information, tips on how to control and prevent diabetes, resources for children and adolescents.
  • National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, NIH)
    Website features: treatment options, complications and prevention, statistics, clinical trials, Spanish-language information, and links to additional resources.

Eye Disease Websites

  • American Foundation for the Blind
    Website features: living with vision loss, information for seniors and kids, eye conditions, blindness statistics, and Spanish translations.
  • MedlinePlus: Eye Diseases
    Website features: overviews, latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention, and research.
  • National Eye Institute (US National Institutes of Health)
    Website features: clinical studies, statistics, fact sheets, news and events, an interactive eye diagram, and a cataract resource guide.
  • Women's Eye
    Website features: facts for women, causes of vision loss, eye basics, prevention, and care.

Heart Disease Websites

  • American Heart Association
    Website features: heart attack warning signs, latest news, disease statistics, nutrition tips, medical encyclopedia, Spanish language information, and links to additional resources.
  • MedlinePlus: Heart Diseases
    Website features: latest news, overviews, diagnoses/symptoms, treatment, prevention, alternative therapy, clinical trials, research, genetics, and glossaries.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    Website features: diseases and conditions index, clinical trials information, health assessment tools, healthy recipes, and educational tutorials.

HIV/AIDS Websites

  • AIDSInfo
    Website features: the latest federally-approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment and prevention, and medical practice guidelines for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends, health care providers, scientists, and researchers.
  • The Body / Body Health Resources Corporation
    Website features: basic information, prevention and testing, 'ask the experts' page, statistics, policy and advocacy, hotlines, personal stories, and local organization listings. Also available in Spanish.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Website features: national list of HIV testing sites, best-evidence interventions, basic information, fact sheets, brochures, journal articles, and special reports.
  • HIV Insite
    Website features: comprehensive, up-to-date information on HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and policy.
  • MedlinePlus: Living With AIDS
    Website features: the latest news, overviews, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention, clinical trials, research and glossaries.

Stroke Websites

  • American Stroke Association
    Website features: warning signs, recovery, glossary, risk factors, and Spanish translations.
  • American Stroke Foundation
    Website features: risk factors, symptoms, prevention, tips for stroke survivors and families, survivor stories, and caregiver resources.
  • MedlinePlus: Stroke
    Website features: latest news, overviews, diagnoses/symptoms, treatment, prevention, alternative therapy, clinical trials, research, genetics, and glossaries.
  • National Stroke Association
    Website features: information on symptoms, risk factors, prevention and recovery, and Spanish/French translations.

More Information

Need more information? Try asking a medical librarian (note that not all medical libraries are open to the public). Call your local hospital, health care center, medical school, or search in the Health Library Directory from MedlinePlus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine.