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Health Publications' Major Players

September 23, 2002

Of the dozens of health-related newsletters, these are among the oldest and most widely circulated:

* Mayo Clinic Health Letter: This remains the biggest newsletter from a major medical center and features full-color illustrations. It has 750,000 subscribers, down from about 1 million at its peak.

Mayo also publishes Women's Health Source, with a circulation of 280,000. A subscription is $27.

Contact: Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Subscription Services, P.O. Box 53889, Boulder, CO 80322-3889.

* The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, from UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, focuses on nutrition, fitness and preventive health. Circulation has fallen from a peak of more than 1 million to 480,000 subscribers today. Readers are mostly female and older than 50, said the editor, Dr. John Swartzberg.

Swartzberg said the publication also helps readers navigate through the medical system, focusing on issues "so people are better informed to query their doctors."

The newsletter examines families of drugs and critiques herbs and supplements, using a standard of evidence-based medicine. A subscription is $28. Contact: Wellness Letter, P.O. Box 420148, Palm Coast, FL 32142, or call (386) 447-6328.

* The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50 has about 300,000 subscribers, down from a peak of more than 400,000, said Joann Rodgers, a spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. The newsletter has spun off many other publications, including quarterly bulletins on specific disorders and guides to drugs and medical tests. A subscription is $28. Contact: Subscription Department, Health After 50, P.O. Box 420179, Palm Coast, FL 32142, or call (386) 447-6313.

* Harvard Health Letter has about 150,000 subscribers. Subscriptions are $32 a year. Contact: Harvard Health Letter, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235, or call (800) 829-9045.

* The Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter has about 150,000 subscribers. While other publications have narrowed their focus to specialty areas, it has broadened its scope, said executive editor Larry Lindner.

In 1997 the Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter changed its name to the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. "Readers wanted more than nutrition from us. We always talked about exercise; fitness was always a piece of it. Today I'm editing a piece on hearing aids."

The newsletter aims to "translate the science from the lab so you can use it in the kitchen, in the supermarket and in your life." A subscription is $28 a year. Contact: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235, or call (800) 274-7581.

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