The Diagnosis Difference

Source Organization: The Pew Research Center


11/26/2013 - 45% of U.S. adults report that they live with one or more chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but also less common conditions like lupus and cancer. They are more likely than other adults to be older, to have faced a medical emergency in the past year, and, as other studies have shown, to contribute to the explosion of health care costs in the U.S.

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center, supported by the California HealthCare Foundation, explores how adults with chronic conditions gather, share, and create health information, both online and offline.



The Pew Research Center’s analysis indicates a “diagnosis difference” that is tied to several aspects of health care and technology use. For example, holding other variables constant (including age, income, education, ethnicity, and overall health status), the fact that someone has a chronic condition is independently associated with being offline.

The diagnosis difference cuts another way, too. This study provides evidence that many people with serious health concerns take their health decisions seriously—and are seriously social about gathering and sharing information, both online and offline.

Read the full report on the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

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