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Women Rule in Consumer Health Internet use

By Clive Riddle, February 4, 2010

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics this week released preliminary results from their National Health Interview Survey, a national household survey regarding consumer use of health information technology with data collected from January through June 2009.

Their report cites a previous study:  The social life of health information [online]. Pew Internet and American Life Project. 2009, which found 74% of adults in the U.S. use the Internet, 61% have used the Internet to search for health or medical information and, 49% of adults have accessed a website that provides information about a specific medical condition or problem.

  • The new National Health Interview Survey examined use by adults age 18-64 and found that women’s consumer use of health care internet exceeded men’s in every category:
  • 50.8% used the Internet to look up health information during the past 12 months (58.0% of women, 43.4% of men)
  • 3.3% used an online chat group to learn about health topics in the past 12 months (4.1% of women, 2.5% of men)
  • 4.9% communicated with a health care provider by e-mail in the past 12 months (5.6% of women, 4.2% of men)
  • 6.0% requested a refill of a prescription on the Internet during the six month survey period ((6.6% of women, 5.3% of men)
  • 2.7% had made an appointment with a health care provider in the past 12 months using the Internet (3.5% of women, 1.8% of men)

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