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Consumer Health

Consumer studying library information

The websites listed on this page are designed to help patients, their families, and caregivers learn more about health and wellness. The sites, which have been created by reliable organizations or by the government, are good places to start when confronted with an unfamiliar condition, disease, or treatment. Links to Medicare and Medicaid information are also provided.

Please click on the headings below to reveal more content.

Top Sites

If you don't know where to begin, these sites present information in a clear, straightforward way.

  • MedlinePlus – National Library of Medicine. Provides reliable professional and patient information on organizations, clinical trials, dictionaries, and more in Spanish and other languages.
  • Healthfinder – U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human Services. A gateway to reliable consumer health information, with links to online publications, clearinghouses, support groups, and more. Healthfinder Espanol provides the same information in Spanish.
  • National Institutes of Health: Health Information – Provides newsletters, information, and links to other websites.
  • Intelihealth – Collaborative project from Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and Aetna Insurance. This searchable site contains current, high quality health information in the form of clearly written articles, quizzes, and self assessments.
  • USA.gov Health and Nutrition – This government site features an A-Z topic list.

Web Searching and Appraisal Tips

Locating and evaluating content on the Internet can be a challenge, but it is especially important when it comes to health information.

Government Information

Health information from federal, state, and local governments.

Federal

  • National Institutes of Health – Review a comprehensive list of institutes, centers, and offices that comprise the National Institutes of Health with links to each entity.
  • USA.gov Health and Nutrition – Explore topics like Caregivers’ Resources, Health Insurance, and Prescription Drugs. Find more detailed information by clicking on the link to Health Topics A to Z.
  • healthfinder.gov – Find information by topic and get customized recommendations so that you can take preventative steps to stay healthy. News and information about health care reform is also provided.
  • HealthCare.gov – Answer some simple questions to determine your best insurance options and develop a better understanding about health insurance depending on your coverage.
  • MedlinePlus – Use the search box at the top of the page or navigate through the site using the three main categories: Health Topics, Drugs & Supplements, and Videos & Cool Tools. Links to other reliable sites are provided. Includes a medical dictionary, news, videos, and interactive tutorials.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Learn about diseases & conditions, workplace safety, and environmental health, among other topics. This site includes a section on Travelers’ Health and links to multimedia and tools such as a BMI calculator. Stay current by reading the latest news in the CDC Newsroom.
  • Food and Drug Administration – Discover more about food, drugs, medical devices, radiation-emitting products, vaccines, blood & biologics, animal and veterinary, cosmetics, and tobacco products by clicking on the tabs towards the top of the page. Check recall and alert lists and see which products have been approved by the FDA.
  • Genetics Home Reference National Library of Medicine's web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes responsible for those conditions. Currently offers summaries for 850 genetic conditions and 1,000 genes.
  • Household Products Database National Library of Medicine’s Household Products Database (HPD) now links over 12,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by the manufacturers. HPD allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients.
State
  • NYS Department of Health – Health news is a prominent part of this site, which also features information on current issues and links to additional resources including health insurance programs, community, family & minority health, diseases & conditions, and healthy lifestyles & prevention.
  • New York State Agencies Health – Find out more about topics like aging, illness, and staying healthy.
  • New York State Health Topics A to Z – Hundreds of topics are listed beginning with Abandoned Infant Protection Act and ending with Zoonoses. If you want to know what zoonoses is, check out this site!
  • NY Smokers Quitline – If you want to quit smoking, find assistance online or call 8 6 6 - N Y Q U I T S or (866) 697-8487. Find out what cigarettes are made of and read about the consequences of secondhand smoke in the Facts & Myths section.
Local
  • WNY 2-1-1 – Locate agencies that provide health related services to Western New Yorkers.
  • Erie County Department of Health – County programs, information about permits and applications, hot topics, and resources and reports are just some of the things you can find on this site.

Medicare and Medicaid

Investigate the health insurance benefits that the government provides based on age, income, or disability status.

Gender and Age Specific Resources

Health information for children and teens, women, men, and seniors.

Children’s Health

  • healthychildren.org – American Academy of Pediatrics. View information depending on ages or stages, get healthy living tips, and learn about prevention, safety, and different health issues babies, kids, and teens face.
  • KidsHealth – Nemours. English and Spanish content for parents, kids, teens, and educators.
  • Children’s Health – MedlinePlus. Read up on the basics, including when to take your child to the doctor. Consult a medical encyclopedia, learn more about conditions and therapies, or check out the latest health news. Contains links to many other reliable sites.
  • Teen Health – MedlinePlus. Geared towards teens who want to learn how to develop and maintain healthy habits. More links to reliable sites are provided, including some about conditions and therapies. Check out the latest health news.
  • Children’s Health – InteliHealth. Groups from infant to adolescent enable you to find targeted information depending on age. There’s also dental information, news, and descriptions of common pediatric conditions.
  • The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Parents, Patients & Caregivers – Explore an A to Z list of topics, read health news or publications, or get information on clinical trials and research. The ten most visited topics and featured publications are highlighted.
  • girlshealth.gov – Aimed at girls, but with resources for teachers and educators and parents and caregivers, this site features Top Tips, Health Events, and news as well as topic specific tabs about things like your body, fitness, relationships, and bullying. Take a quiz to test your knowledge or follow girlshealth.gov on Twitter or Facebook.
Women's Health
  • Office on Women’s Health – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A-Z Health Topics, publications, and news are the major sections of this site.
  • Women’s Cancers – National Cancer Institute. “Information about treatment, prevention, genetics, screening, clinical trials, literature, research, and statistics for cancers that occur mainly in women, as well as other cancers.”
  • How Does Heart Disease Affect Women? – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 25% of US women die from heart disease. Find out what causes the disease, identify risk factors, and learn what the signs & symptoms are. Diagnosis, treatment, prevention are also discussed.
  • Women and Mental Health – National Institute of Mental Health. Mental disorders that affect women are described. Anxiety disorders, biopolar disorder, and depression are among these illnesses.
  • Women’s Health – MedlinePlus. An overview of health topics, news, and links to other reliable sites are provided.
  • Women’s Health – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An extensive list of resources are available from Topics A-Z to podcasts and health e-cards. Find tips for healthy living and a healthy life. Strategies to encourage your friends and family from girlfriends to Girl Scouts to make healthy choices are outlined.
  • Women’s Health – National Institutes of Health. Click on links about topics from AIDS and Pregnancy to Women’s Health.
  • Women’s Health – American Cancer Society. Learn more about cancers that affect women. Cancer facts and prevention, non-cancerous breast conditions, medicines to reduce breast cancer risk, and early detection are some of the links available.
  • Women’s Health – InteliHealth. Just for Women section includes information on your health, your reproductive life, your appearance, and more. Use interactive tools or ask an expert your health question.
  • Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Screening and prevention are the focus of this site.
Men's Health
  • Men’s Health – MedlinePlus. An overview of health topics, news, and links to other reliable sites are provided.
  • Men’s Health – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An extensive list of resources are available from Topics A-Z to Leading Causes of Death. The most viewed topics include alcohol, cancer, heart disease and stroke, and general health.
  • Healthy Men – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Suggestions about how to stay healthy, which preventive tests to take, and understanding your prescriptions are featured on this site.
  • Men’s Health – National Institutes of Health. Click on links about topics from Aneurysms to Warts.
  • Men’s Health – American Cancer Society. Learn more about cancers that affect men. Cancer facts and prevention, facts for gay and bisexual men, and early detection are some of the links available.
  • Men’s Heath – InteliHealth. Major categories are wellness and prevention, diseases and conditions, and top risks. Use interactive tools or ask an expert your health question.
Senior Health
  • National Institute on Aging: Health & Aging – National Institutes of Health. Check out publications and links to sites about Alzheimer’s disease and Go4Life, a campaign to promote active seniors. Locate health & aging organizations, learn about clinical trials, find the answers to frequently asked questions, read news, and browse through a list health topics.
  • SeniorHealth – National Institutes of Health. Presents information in a clear, straightforward manner and enables you to resize text or change the contrast. Use the search box at the top of the page or browse A-Z health topics alphabetically or by category. Watch videos or get inspired by exercise stories submitted by adults over the age of 60.
  • Senior’s Health – MedlinePlus. Find links to reliable websites, a medical encyclopedia, and information about related topics. Sign up to receive email updates about Senior Health.
  • Health for Seniors – USA.gov. Learn how to stay healthy as a senior, find and compare healthcare facilities or locate a doctor, and get a handle on your prescription drugs. Diseases, conditions, and injuries are also outlined and described.

Foreign Language Resources

Health information for non-English speakers.

  • Consumer Health Information in many Languages Resources – National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Provides links to resources available in multiple or specific languages.
  • Health Information in Multiple Languages – MedlinePlus. Nearly fifty languages are represented. Browse by language or by health topic.
  • Publications in Other Languages – US Food and Drug Administration. Publications from the Office of Women’s Health in Arabic, Polish, and Asian/Pacific Islander languages. Topics include diabetes, medicines, and heart disease.
  • Information in Other Languages – medicare.gov. Get information on Medicare in Spanish, American Sign Language (video), Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese.
  • EthnoMed – University of Washington. Browse by health topic or by language. Languages include Amharic, Chinese, Hmong, Karen, Khmer, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, and Vietnamese. View related sites.
  • Healthy Living Toolkit – US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “The USCRI Healthy Living Toolkit is designed to educate refugees and immigrants so they can become proactive health consumers and health promoters in their communities.”
  • Culturally Specific Patient Health Information for non-English speakers (www.bantuhealth.org) – Featuring audio health education for Maay Maay and Zigua Speakers, plus a collection of links to culturally appropriate health information brochures, pamphlets, audio-programs and articles in multiple languages.

Additional Topics

Find out more about clinical trials, complementary and alternative medicine, and disability resources. Check out guides created by Kaleida Health librarians.

Clinical Trials

  • CenterWatch – Patient and professional resources linking to clinical trials and related information, produced by a publishing and information services company.
  • Clinical Trials – The National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine site that provides information about current clinical research studies.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine – National Institutes of Health. Review the basics about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) including what it is and the different types of practices. Learn about dietary and herbal supplements and find a practitioner. A-Z topic listing.
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine – National Cancer Institute. CAM methods and treatments for cancer are described and evaluated. Learn what questions to ask your provider if you are thinking about CAM.

Disability Resources

  • disability.gov – “Disability.gov is the federal government website for comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. The site has information on topics such as applying for benefits, getting health care, finding a job, paying for housing and protecting the legal rights of people with disabilities.” Click on Health under “Information by Topic” to locate national and state resources.
  • National Rehabilitation Information Center – Search for publications, articles, research projects, or organizations. Browse to find disability resources on nearly two dozen topics which include aging, general health resources, and medical and vocational rehabilitation.
  • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities – Resources regarding disabled babies & toddlers and children ages 3-22, disability & education laws, and research are the focus of this site. Locate national and state agencies and organizations or review a list of topics on disability (see Health Care).

KaleidaGuidesresources created by librarians at Kaleida Health