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New iVillage Study Reveals That Majority of Women 18-34 Go Online First With Health Questions - Before Turning to Their Doctor or Other Family Members

82% of Women Say They Are Uncomfortable Discussing Health Concerns With Friends and Family

NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- iVillage today announced the results of a new online survey conducted in February on its behalf by Harris Interactive®, which illustrates how heavily online women(1) rely on the Internet as a health resource – before turning to a family member or visiting a doctor. The survey findings were unveiled by Jennifer Barrett, Health Editor for iVillage, and coincide with the launch of

Anonymous peer networking and sharing common experiences is what drives women online for health matters, with 4 out of 5 (82%) saying there are reasons to feel uncomfortable when discussing health concerns or questions with friends or family members. Over half of women (59%) said that discussing health concerns with people they know can be embarrassing.

The study shows that the Internet is often women's first destination for insights and solutions for everyday health questions.

  • 62% were twice as likely to turn to a Website – over their own mothers (32%) – with health concerns or questions that are not extremely serious
  • 64% say they use online communities to discuss health concerns or questions that they have not discussed with anyone else
  • 49% say online is the first place they would go to research a health question, nearly double the number who say they would go to the doctor first (25%), and significantly more than those who would first turn to a family member (15%) or a friend with a similar condition/issue (6%)

"This research further demonstrates what iVillage has always known about women – they place tremendous value in the power of support from their online peers, as well as expert advice, to resolve the many demands they face," said Barrett. "One of the keys to living a healthier life is to be a more educated, informed patient. iVillage Health will be an invaluable resource to women in that respect," said Barrett.

The study also highlights how online health resources play a key role in educating patients prior to seeing a physician, with 30% of women saying that online community support allows them to better prepare for a doctor's visit.

Moms are the key decision-makers in managing the health needs of their families, and Web-based resources are more important than ever for this busy group of women. The study reveals that moms are more likely to turn to a Website with health concerns or questions that are not extremely serious than they are to turn to their own spouse (64% vs. 41% respectively), with more than half (53%) having discussed a health issue with an online peer.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of iVillage between February 18 and 22, 2010 via the QuickQuery online omnibus service among 2,618 U.S. adults age 18+, of whom 1,342 are women ages 18+ and 310 are the mothers of a child(ren) ages 17 and under and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Mary Ellen Mooney, iVillage, 212-651-5198.

About iVillage

With approximately 30 million unique visitors per month, iVillage is the content-driven community for women on the web, where they can find the most meaningful content, real-life conversations and the tools they need for their busy lives. The site focuses on categories that best serve women's needs, including Food, Health, Entertainment, Family, Beauty & Style. Additional businesses and brand extensions within iVillage Networks include iVillage UK, NBC Digital Health Network, and GardenWeb. In addition, iVillage enjoys a strategic partnership with BlogHer, the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online.  iVillage Inc., acquired by NBC Universal, Inc. in May 2006, is based in New York City, and is part of the NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks Group.  Join iVillage's Facebook group at and follow us on Twitter at

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us—and our clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

(1) The results of this survey have been weighted to represent the overall online population of adults using targets on the basis of Internet usage (hours per week) and connection type as well as by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income even where not specified.

SOURCE iVillage

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SOURCE iVillage
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