The Heterogeneous Influences of Online Health Information Seeking on Aspirin Use for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Jingrong Zhu, Yunfeng Shi, Yi Cui, Wei Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The internet has become an important source of health information for the general population. Previous research has shown that online health information seeking is associated with medication adherence. However, the direction of this relationship is still a matter of dispute. Even less is known about the factors that moderate such a relationship. Objective: To investigate the heterogeneous influences of online health information seeking on the use of aspirin in CVD prevention and the possible moderating factors among the applicable adult population in the U.S from 2016 to 2018. Methods: Respondents aged 40 or older, based on guidelines for aspirin use, were sampled from the 2016 to 2018 National Health Interview Survey. Linear probability models were used to test the association between patients’ aspirin use behaviors and the variables of interest in four separate sub-populations. Results: Aspirin use for CVD prevention was associated with online health information seeking in different ways. When patients received doctors’ advice to use aspirin, online information seeking has a negative influence on aspirin use, depending on whether the individual has CVD risk factors. However, for patients without recommendations from providers, the effects of online information seeking on self-initiated aspirin use depend on the different types of prevention (i.e., primary vs. secondary) and CVD risk factors. Conclusions: Online health information might lead to both overuse and underuse of aspirin in CVD prevention. Online information seeking interacts with other information sources affecting consumers' decision making. Key consumer characteristics and risk factors may also moderate such a relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100842
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Policy

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