ON-LINE, NOT IN LINE: Consumer Sites Offer Discrepancies
Is it okay for osteoporosis sufferers to drink alcohol? Ask the physicians at www.intelihealth.com, run by Johns Hopkins University, and they'll say "no," but pose the same question at Mayo Clinic's Oasis site, www.mayohealth.org, and you'll read that patients with the bone disease may safely drink in moderation. As thousands of people increasingly turn to the Web for medical help, "such discrepancies prove fairly common," the Austin American-Statesman reports. Reporters for the Texas paper also found that consumer health sites aren't always so consumer-friendly: On the site Healthanswers.com, for example, those looking to find details on spina bifida won't have much luck unless they look "under the birth defect's other name, myelomeningocele" (Cocks, 9/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.