THURSDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new U.S. survey finds
that women are more likely than men to use the Internet for medical
information, and whites are more likely to do so than
According to the findings released Thursday by the U.S. National
Center for Health Statistics, whites aged 18 to 64 were almost
twice as likely as Hispanics to search for health information
The 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) also found
- Fifty-seven percent of whites surveyed had looked up medical
information on the Internet in the previous 12 months, compared to
38 percent of blacks, 29 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of
- Among those aged 18 to 64, employed people (53 percent) were
more likely than the unemployed (41 percent) to look for health
information online, and people with higher incomes in that age
group were about twice as likely to do so as those with lower
- Educated people were much more likely to use the Internet for
this purpose over the previous year: 74 percent of college
graduates had done so, compared to just 14 percent of those with
less than a high school education.
- Those with private health insurance were more likely to seek
health information online over the past year (59 percent did so)
than those with government-funded Medicaid insurance (31 percent)
or no coverage (33 percent).
The researchers, Robin A. Cohen and Patricia F. Adams, of the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center
for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics,
reported their findings in the July
NCHS Data Brief.
"Sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors were associated with adults who had used the Internet to look up health information. Greater use of the Internet for health information in the past 12 months among adults was associated with being ages 25 to 44, non-Hispanic white, employed, college educated, with income at or above 300 percent of the federal poverty level, and having private health insurance," the authors concluded.
The data was based on 10 questions about adult Internet use
included in the 2009 NHIS, which collected information from 27,731
people throughout the United States.
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