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J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(6):298-302.

Health information Websites: characteristics of US users by race and ethnicity.

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  • 1A Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


We conducted a national public opinion survey of adults aged 18 years or older in the continental US to determine their use of health Websites. Of the 928 individuals contacted, 868 (94%) reported their race/ethnicity. More non-Hispanic Whites reported using the Internet (34%) than African Americans (31%) and Hispanics (20%). We used logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios describing the relationship between Website usage and covariates across the racial/ethnic subgroups. Whereas better perceived health was associated with greater Website use among Hispanics and Whites, stronger health literacy was associated with greater use among Hispanics. No African American or Hispanic respondent aged 65 years or older reported going online. The relationship between education and use was more than twice as strong for African Americans and Hispanics than other groups. That some minority groups are less likely to use the World Wide Web for health information may further compound existing disparities. One place where this problem may be addressed is in the nation's schools.

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