Twitter Can Help People's Fight Against Heart Disease; Research Shows

First Posted: Sep 30, 2016 05:29 AM EDT

Social media can now be used by researchers to study about heart diseases. Linking social media with health studies is now being suggested because researchers can gain easier access to what the thoughts of people regarding diseases are. People nowadays use social media to converse with others and often times they talk regarding their health situations.

Twitter, a micro-blogging site, used by many to air out their present thoughts and emotions. A team of researchers study the connection between these types of technology and how can it be linked to health studies. As the research goes on, they found out that people tend to talk about cardiovascular diseases and posting issues about it on social media.

Penn Medicine Social Media and Health Innovation Lab at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a team of researchers lead by Dr. Raina Merchant, found that about ten billion English-language Twitter posts or tweets coming from the United States alone from July 2009 to February 2015. These tweets are about cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, cardiac arrest, heart failure and high blood pressure.

Researchers then further their studies and research on Twitter using the terms coronary attack, diabetes, heart attack, heart arrest, heart failure and Mellitus. The result shows that 550,338 tweets were about cardiovascular disease.  270,000 mentioned heart attack and 240,000 talks about diabetes, according to Medical Express. 

Experts then subdivide 2,500 tweets for analysis. The discussion on those tweets points out to the discussion of the risk factor. People then tweet about awareness and management of health conditions tweets.

Dr. Raina Merchant shared "we are really interested in understanding more about how the public uses social media to discuss important topics."  She added that their team wants to know the speed of information level. She also hopes that other researchers can use twitter to help people regarding cardiovascular diseases, as reported by Fox News.

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