PHARMACY

Online information could lead to second-guessing doctors

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK A new survey by Kelton Research revealed that 85.6 million U.S. adults have doubted the opinion of their doctors or other medical professionals when it conflicts with information found online.

However, the survey also showed that a majority of Americans still view health providers as their most trusted source of medical information.

Additional key findings of the study include:

  • Besides the young, most do not view patient-generated content as credible. Despite its increasing popularity, only 3 percent of Americans seeking advice about how to manage a serious medical condition would view patient developed online health information as trustworthy. The same amount (3 percent) feel this way about mild medical problems. However, 9 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are happy to rely on this type of content for guidance on mild health conditions.
  • While trust in Internet resources lags, provider-generated online content may be different. Previous research indicates that trust in Internet resources is not widespread. However, this study suggests credibility may be influenced by who is authoring the content. Thirteen percent of Americans say they would consult medical professional-developed information posted on blogs, online forums or other Web sites first if they believe they have a health condition or disease.

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Gestational diabetes results in increased risk for Type 2 diabetes

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Gestational diabetes greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life, a new study confirms, according to Reuters.

Gestational diabetes is a known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Denice Feig of the University of Toronto and her team looked at 633,449 women who gave birth in Toronto between 1995 and 2002. A total of 21,823 (3.3 percent) of the women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

While just 2 percent of the women who didn’t have gestational diabetes went on to develop Type 2 diabetes during the 9-year follow-up period, 19 percent of those with gestational diabetes did, the researchers found.

Moreover, they say the strongest risk factor for Type 2 diabetes was gestational diabetes, which increased risk more than 37-fold.

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Russian antihistamine appears effective against Alzheimer’s

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study that lasted a year and a half has found that an antihistamine developed in the former Soviet Union may be able to stabilize Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, found that the drug Dimebon could stabilize the disease for at least the time of the study. Researchers tested the drug against a placebo in 183 patients in Russia who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Conditions of patients who received the placebo deteriorated, while those of the people who received Dimebon improved or deteriorated only slightly.

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