Privacy Policy

Published: April, 2014

Terms of Use and Privacy Agreement for Harvard Health Publishing

Please read this Terms of Use and Privacy Agreement ("Agreement") carefully before using ("Website"), an Internet site maintained by the Harvard Health Publishing ("Harvard") Division of Harvard Medical School. Your use of the Website is subject to your acceptance of this Agreement.

Harvard has created this Terms of Usage and Privacy Statement to help demonstrate its commitment to privacy. This Statement describes Harvard' information gathering and dissemination practices for the Website.

Privacy and California "Shine the Light" Notice

Personally identifiable information such as name, address, or e-mail address of visitors to the Website, or the health interests of those visitors, is collected through our website or commerce services and securely stored indefinitely—for example when a person orders one of our publications from a secure server or enters the information when registering to receive e-mails or when an existing customer record is updated through third party data.

By submitting or allowing use of such personal information, the user is consenting to receive emails from Harvard from time to time regarding various events or promotions, products or services. Personal correspondence, such as emails or letters, sent to Harvard by a user may be collected into a file specific to the user.

If, at any time, the user does not wish to receive email from Harvard, the user may send a message to requesting the cessation of such email messages, or simply follow the instructions to unsubscribe found at the bottom of our email messages. Harvard has not and does not make user email addresses available to other parties. Users may also request removal of their name and other information from our database by emailing

If you are receiving Harvard Health Publishing content via email, this is because you registered online to receive such messages or because you contacted Harvard Health Publishing or Harvard Health Publishing received updated information from a third party and indicated your interest in receiving such communications.

We may contact you by e-mail informing you of various Website-related and health-related events, informational alerts, promotions, or offers for the purchase of goods and/or services that may of interest to you, based on the topics in which you have voluntarily indicated an interest.

As long as you are a registered user, we may continue to contact you via email for administrative or informational purposes, including follow-up messages regarding the administration of your account, any services, features or functions you have enrolled in or registered to use, goods and/or services you have ordered, or other transactions you have undertaken through the Website.

Non-personal information. Harvard reserves the right to track non-personal information about users of its Website, including without limitation: the URL that the user has come from (whether this URL is on its Website or not), the URL the user goes to next (whether this URL is on its Website or not), the Internet browser being used, the type of operating system used, the user's location, and the user's IP address. A user's IP address is used for system administration purposes and to track a user's session, in order to give Harvard an understanding as to which parts of its Website users are visiting. Many sites automatically collect this information. Harvard may use such non-personal information for purposes including but not limited to improving the content of its Website, marketing, advertising or research purposes.

Release of user information. A customer's name and mailing address may be released for one-time use to carefully screened third-party mailers who offer products or services that may be of interest to our readers. Customers may opt out of receiving these third-party mailings by requesting to have their account marked "do not mail" by contacting Non-customers may also have their names removed from our future mailings by contacting to have your name added to our suppression file.

Harvard also reserves the right to release current or past user information internally within Harvard and its publishing partner, Belvoir Media Group. Harvard also reserves the right to release current or past member information to third parties for limited purposes in the event Harvard believes that usage is (i) in violation of this Agreement; (ii) used to commit unlawful acts; and/or (iii) is required to be disclosed to comply with applicable laws or regulations, or with a court or administrative order. Except as previously stated, Harvard will not share information specific to users with third parties. Harvard is, however, free to disclose aggregate user information to third parties.

Harvard GDPR Disclosure

Terms of Usage

The text, audio, images, photographs, graphics, descriptions, and other material provided on the Website are collectively referred to as the "Content."

You may use the Content only for personal and non-commercial purposes. Nothing contained on the Website will be construed as granting, by implication or otherwise, any right to use, reproduce, modify, transmit, display, publish, sell, create derivative works, publicly perform, or distribute by any means, method, or process whatsoever, now known or hereafter developed, any of the Content on or transmitted through the Website for commercial purposes. The use of any Content on any other World Wide Web site is prohibited.

Posting Guidelines

HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING cannot review all Communications made on or through the Site. However, HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING reserves the right, but has no obligation, to monitor the Forums and edit, modify or delete any Communications (or portions thereof) which HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING in its sole discretion deems inappropriate, offensive or contrary to any HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING policy, or that violate this Agreement.

To help HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING maintain a safe and civil environment, you agree not to upload or distribute to, or otherwise publish through the Site or Forums any Communication which

(i) is for commercial purposes or otherwise advertises or solicits for the sale of goods or services;
(ii) is obscene, indecent, pornographic, profane, sexually explicit, threatening, or abusive;
(iii) constitutes or contains false or misleading indications of origin or statements of fact;
(iv) slanders, libels, defames, disparages, or otherwise violates the legal rights of any third party;
(v) causes injury of any kind to any person or entity;
(vi) infringes or violates the intellectual property rights (including copyright, patent and trademark rights), contract rights, trade secrets, privacy or publicity rights or any other rights of any third party;
(vii) violates any applicable laws, rules, or regulations;
(viii) contains software viruses or any other malicious code designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;
(ix) impersonates another person or entity, or that collects or uses any information about Site visitors.

You further acknowledge that conduct prohibited in connection with your use of the Forums includes, but is not limited to, breaching or attempting to breach the security of the Site.

General Compliance with Laws

All users shall comply with all applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, and regulations regarding use of the Website.

Links from Other Websites / Intellectual Property Rights

Harvard generally welcomes links to its Website. You may establish a link to the Website, provided that the link does not state or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of your website or its contents by Harvard or by any group or individual related to or affiliated with Harvard. You must obtain Harvard's express written consent in order to use on your website any Content provided on Harvard's Website. Use of any Harvard University shield, crest or mark without express written permission is illegal. Please visit this link for information on our permissions policy.

Links to Other Websites / No Harvard Endorsement

Harvard may include links to other Internet sites solely as a convenience to users of its Website. Harvard does not necessarily endorse any such websites or the information, material, products or services contained on or accessible through such websites. Users access and use such websites, including information, material, products, and services therein, solely at the users' own risk. Harvard is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such other Internet sites.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

Harvard may make improvements or changes in the information, services, products, and other materials on, or terminate, at any time without notice. Harvard may modify this Agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.


Your use of the Website is at your own risk. Harvard makes no warranties or representations as to the Content and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions therein. This site is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Individual circumstances vary so users should consult their physicians. Harvard also assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for, any damages to, or viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property on account of your access to, use of, or browsing in the Website or your downloading of any materials from the Website.


This Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remaining provisions shall be enforced. Headings are for reference purposes only and in no way define, limit, construe, or describe the scope or extent of such section. Harvard's failure to act with respect to a breach by you or others does not waive Harvard's right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding and agreement between Harvard and users of the Website with respect to the subject matter hereof.

Contacting the Website

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.