Women & Health: Old Habits, New Internet

It’s been long established that women are more likely to go to the doctor than men. Now we have data to support the corollary for the digital age: women are (surprise!) more likely than men to take to the Internet for health research.

The latest report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (via HealthDay and iHealthBeat) shows that women search at a higher rate than men in almost every age group. One exception was among adults older than 65, where men held a slight lead over women (24.4% to 21.9%) in searching online for health data in the year previous to the 2009 National Health Interview Survey, which served as the foundation for the report.

Other groups more likely to use the Internet to look up health information:

  • people with private insurance
  • people with higher incomes
  • people with more education

It’s unfortunate that the old joke about men not going to see a doctor unless something’s cut off or they’re dying still holds true today, especially since the threshold to perform health research online is so much lower than that of taking a trip to an actual doctor’s office. Maybe it’s getting the wrong (unreliable) information that people fear.


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About Paul Richlovsky

Paul purposefully merges a creative writing and teaching background with his decade-long marketing career. He advises clients on content strategy, editorial direction and PR/distribution. He is a perpetual critical thinker who has written/edited hundreds of blog posts and multiple long-form marketing guides, including those aimed at audiences as varied as healthcare, higher education, financial services, B2C brands and manufacturing. With a BA in English from the College of Wooster, he is also the author of a collection of poetry, "Under the Lunar Neon."He gets really excited about the science of elite performance, usability, brand voice, headlines, digital governance, ballroom dancing, bachata, racquet sports, and romping with his niece and nephews.

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