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November 5, 2003

Use of the Internet for Health Information and Communication

Author Affiliations
  • 1WebMD Corp, Elmwood Park, NJ
JAMA. 2003;290(17):2255. doi:10.1001/jama.290.17.2255

To the Editor: Dr Baker and colleagues1 reported that only 40% of US Internet users search for health information online yearly and that only 9% search for this information on a monthly basis. Industry market research studies, however, report results that differ greatly from the findings of Baker et al.

Using random-digit dialing telephone methods, Cybercitizen Health found that 53% of all Internet users visited online health information sites in 20012 and that 65% did so in 2002.3 In addition, Cybercitizen Health found that 56% of such users accessed these sites monthly in 2001 and that 59% did so in 2002. In contrast, Baker et al found that only 22% of such users visited monthly in 2002.