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Wired for Health: How Californians Compare to the Rest of the Nation

PEW Internet and American Life Project

This study found that low-income Californians are more likely than other low-income Americans to go online to search for health information.

In 2003, the Pew Internet and American Life Project examined Californians' use of the Internet for health-related purposes. The study featured findings from an oversample of low-income Californians and separately, English-speaking Latino residents.

Findings showed that while low-income Californians used the Internet more than their counterparts in other states, there were still significant gaps among demographic groups. In California, 77% of households with income levels above $30,000 had Internet access, while only 45% of lower-income households did. By comparison, only 36% of low-income households outside of the state had Internet access. The study shed light on how low-income households in California used the Internet to search for health information.

The CHCF-commissioned Pew report, Wired for Health: How Californians Compare to the Rest of the Nation, found that not only were low-income Californians more likely to have Internet access, but once online, they were just as likely as their wealthier counterparts to use the Internet to search for health information. The most popular health search topics for all Californians were health insurance, alternative medicine, and experimental treatments.

The study also showed that a majority of California's English-speaking Latinos had Internet access and used it to get health information about as frequently as did all other Californians. The authors found that 58% of English-speaking Latinos had access to the Internet compared with 66% of all other Californians -- and they used it to get health information at about the same rate. However, Spanish-speaking Latinos used the Internet at only half the rate of their English-speaking counterparts.

The report is available through the External Link below.

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