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NHLBI Privacy Statement

Thank you for visiting the NHLBI website and reviewing our privacy policy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of which NHLBI is a part, does not disclose, give, sell, or transfer any personal information about visitors to its websites, unless required by law or court order.

The NHLBI is committed to protecting your privacy. We will not collect any personal information about you when you visit our website (other than the standard information automatically collected and stored in the Web server's logs) unless you choose to provide it to us.

Detailed information regarding server logs, and voluntary submission of personal information, "cookies", security, and intrusion detection systems is provided below.

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.


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. The cookies and the information about your session are automatically destroyed shortly after you close your browser. The information is not permanently stored on your computer. 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

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 e-mailed to the NHLBI Web Manager.

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: link.

Facebook: The NHLBI has four Facebook pages: National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)external link, The Heart Truthexternal link, We Can!external link, and COPD Learn More Breathe Betterexternal link.

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: link.

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: link.

Twitter: The NHLBI has four Twitter accounts: @NIH_NHLBIexternal link, @TheHeartTruthexternal link, @Breathe Better(COPD)external link, and @NHLBI_TTransferexternal link.

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: link.

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: link.

YouTube: The NHLBI's YouTube channel is available at link. 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: link.

Last Updated January 2012

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