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Nine in 10 Women Find Health Haven Online

Wellness at your fingertips

The internet - rather than healthcare professionals - is by far US households' main source for healthcare information, and women more frequently than men seek such information online, according to a recent Burst Media survey, reports MarketingCharts.

Burst surveyed some 3,700 web users 18 years and older on how they research health information - including prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies.

The following are among the findings of the survey:

  • Users click on drug ads:
    • 23.5 percent of respondents say they have clicked on a prescription or OTC drug/remedy ad
    • 24.6 percent of women and 22.3 percent of men say they have done so.
    • The proportion of those who have click on ads is fairly consistent among the age segments, with the highest percentage - 27.2 percent - among respondents age 55+.
  • Online health information is sought out by all age segments:
    • 78.1 percent of respondents use the internet to gather health information.
    • Women more than men go online for health info - 83.5 percent vs. 72.4 percent.
    • 90.1 percent of women age 25-34 search for health information online.
    • More than three-quarters of those 65 years and older say they go online for health information.


  • Young adults refer to online health info most often:
    • 40.8 percent of respondents age18-34 search online for health information at least once a week
    • 29.0 percent of respondents 35 years and older do so.
  • Users go online before and after visits to doctor:
    • 33.9 percent of respondents research health topics online before visiting a medical professional.
    • Women 25-34 are most likely (55.4 percent) to do so.
    • 43.5 percent of respondents use the internet after a medical visit to research topics discussed during the visit.
    • Women are more likely than men to do further online research: 50.8 percent vs. 35.5 percent.
  • The internet, more than the family doctor, is the primary source of health info:
    • 45.2 percent of respondents say the internet is the primary source of health information
    • 23.0 percent cite health professionals, and 12.9 percent cite friends and family.
    • Women more than men use the internet as their primary household health resource: 49.9 percent vs. 40.3 percent.
    • Men more than women cite health professionals: 25.8 percent vs. 20.4 percent.


  • Healthcare workers, family/friends top drug/remedy info sources:
    • 40.4 percent cited healthcare professionals as the top source for prescription and OTC drug/remedy information.
    • 35.3 percent cited family and friends.
    • 29.6 percent cited websites.
    • 29.3 percent pointed to pharmacists.
    • 26.1 percent said TV and print ads.
    • Other sources: news stories (25.2 percent), internet advertising (18.6 percent) and product pamphlets/brochures (17.4 percent).

Burst provides more findings from the study, here.


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