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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

The National Library of Medicine 175 Years of Information Innovation

Donald West King, M.D.

Donald West King, M.D.
FNLM Chairman

In 1836, physicians had only their own experience and a general textbook or two to guide them in treating people. That germs caused infection was unknown, lead was recommended for cholera, and average life expectancy for both men and women was less than 40 years!

Today, thanks to the National Library of Medicine, virtually any bit of information ever discovered about the human body, condition, or disease is available at a keystroke to anyone, anywhere. MedlinePlus ( carries information on more than 800 health topics alone, for example. And we are all much healthier for it.

We begin our celebration of the Library's 175th anniversary on page 26, with an introduction by Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., Director of the National Library of Medicine, to some of the Library's outstanding, recent contributions.

In coming issues of NIH MedlinePlus magazine, we will highlight other significant milestones in the Library's longstanding mission to acquire, organize, and disseminate health-related information for the betterment of American—and global—human health.

Our cover story in this issue, starting on page 10, features Cloris Leachman, who shares her secrets about how to avoid osteoporosis and brittle bones. And for some practical tips on how you and your family can stay"flu–safe" this winter, turn to page 22.

For a really healthy start to 2011, there is no better place for smokers and their families to look for help than our section on quitting tobacco—smoking and chewing (smokeless)—which begins on page 4.

We hope you find this issue of the magazine both informative and useful.

Donald West King, M.D., Chairman
Friends of the National Library of Medicine

Let Us Hear From You!

We want your feedback on the  magazine, ideas for future issues, as well as questions and suggestions. E-mail your letters to Managing Editor Selby Bateman ( or send mail to Editor, NIH MedlinePlus Magazine, P.O. Box 18427, Greensboro, NC 27419-8427. We will feature some of your letters in upcoming issues.

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You can be part of the Friends' mission to help educate the public and the health and corporate communities about NIH's many vital research initiatives.

If you or your company can help to support and expand the publication and distribution of NIH MedlinePlus magazine, thousands and thousands more people will gain valuable, free access to the world's best online medical library,

For more information, please visit or call (202) 679-9930. Or, write to FNLM, 7900 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814.

The FNLM is classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for federal tax purposes. Web site:

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Fall 2010 Issue: Volume 5 Number 4 Page Inside Cover