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For Health Info, Women Often Turn to the Web

They're much more likely to do so than men, survey finds

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women are more likely than men to search for health information on the Internet, according to researchers who analyzed four years of U.S. national survey data.

A team at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., also found that:

  • women are more likely than men to seek online support groups for medical problems;
  • women are more likely than men to seek health care information for others;
  • women visit more health sites than men;
  • men are more likely than women to go online for sensitive health information that may be difficult to talk about.

According to the researchers, health care is one of the few areas where women use the Internet much more than men. The other two areas are religion and driving directions.

Men were much more likely to use the Internet to find information in seven areas: research on products and services; weather; news; do-it-yourself; sports scores; financial information; and work-related research.

The findings were to have been presented Sunday at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting, in San Francisco.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers advice about evaluating health information on the Internet.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Bryant University, news release, Aug. 19, 2007

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