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Behavior Aging Awareness Cardio-Vascular

Americans Are Relying On “Dr. Google” Over Their Physicians

1 year ago

7586  0
Posted on Apr 13, 2023, 6 p.m.

According to a recent random double opt-in survey commissioned by Bayer Aspirin and conducted by OnePoll of over 2000 adults, 39% of Americans (that’s roughly 2 in 5) have used online information rather than visiting their doctor, and the average person self-diagnoses at least four times a year with the aid of “Dr. Google” but these results suggest that this isn’t always the best bet. 

It would appear as if paging “Dr. Google” isn’t guaranteed to provide accurate results in treating or curing certain ailments, according to this survey of 2,016 participants aged 40+ that revealed people’s common misconceptions about what is and isn't a cure/treatment; such as 47% of the respondents believed that fish oil alone can cure or treat a certain ailment, 45% believe that garlic alone could cure or treat certain ailments and 44% believe that honey alone is sufficient to cure or treat certain ailments. Additionally, 64% inaccurately associate carbohydrates as being mainly bad for their health.

62% of all respondents report that they still trust their doctor the most for health advice, and 42% said that they would trust a medical/health website more than “Dr.Google”. Overall 66% of women were more likely to trust their physicians and 54% of men were also more likely to trust their physicians. 

To help protect, maintain, or improve their overall health 51% of all respondents report that they are taking vitamins or supplements, 49% get regular checkups with a doctor or specialist, 46% are exercising, 30% are trying to keep their stress levels in check, and 23% are monitoring their cholesterol levels. 

The results also revealed how much people know about their heart health with 74% of all respondents feeling somewhat well informed about their family’s health history, and men were more confident with that knowledge than women (81% and 69% respectively). 36% of all respondents reported having a family history of heart disease, 24% reported a family history of obesity, 23% reported that family members were affected by dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease, and 21% reported a family history of mental illness. 

There were also gaps in their knowledge that were revealed in the respondent's ability to identify the symptoms of a heart attack. When asked to select symptoms from a list 71% correctly identified chest pain/discomfort as a potential symptom, 68% identified shortness of breath, but only 42% were aware that nausea and vomiting could be a potential symptom, and only 40% knew that jaw pain can also be another common indicator. However, only 41% of all respondents were aware that heart attack symptoms can differ between men and women.

When it came to risk factors 72% of all respondents were aware that smoking is a significant contributor to increasing the risk of heart attack, 71% knew that obesity was a significant contributor and 50% were aware that over-exertion can also increase the risk of a heart attack. 

When it comes to age 52% of all respondents reported that they are “always” or “often” thinking about aging, with 61% reporting that they have come to accept it but they still find themselves sometimes struggling with it. When it comes to actually aging apparently neither of the sexes is looking forward to it, with 35% of men reporting that they are looking forward to it and only 20% of women reporting that they are looking forward to aging. 

“This survey shows older Americans are knowledgeable about certain aspects of their heart health. That’s good news. But there’s still a great deal of education needed for people to fully understand prevention and potential risk factors,” says Bayer® Aspirin partner and cardiologist, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, in a statement. “Heart disease can be scary, and we often just don’t want to think about it. Through the work I do, I’m dedicated to overcoming fear through accurate information about heart health and risk factors to reduce disease. Information saves lives because heart disease is preventable 80 percent of the time.”

“While heart disease is skewing younger in recent years, it remains true that your risk increases with age. I often prescribe an aspirin regimen to patients who have had a heart attack, to help reduce the risk of another one,” adds Dr. Steinbaum. “Elevating awareness and education about heart health, including the benefits of a doctor-directed aspirin regimen for secondary heart attack prevention, can save lives. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.”

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

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