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Consumer health newsletters are feeding much needed medical advice to a hungry population of aging Americans

As a retired jobs counselor who studied government in college, Mimi Singer's medical credentials might as well have been issued by the Hold-the-Mayo Clinic. But when doctors couldn't explain why an older friend nearly passed out over lunch, it was Singer who advised the woman to drink water during and after meals to avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure. "My friend has drunk water with her food ever since," Singer says, "and she's fine."

Singer's deft diagnosis came courtesy of a medical newsletter, one of a burgeoning arsenal published for consumers. The nation's top 10 consumer health newsletters reach more...

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