Reactions 1664, p9 - 12 Aug 2017 Facebook mentions regarding statins and side effects Use of a commercial data-mining product identified 25 700 Facebook mentions regarding statins in a month, according to study results reported in Drug Safety, 4.3% of which also mentioned relevant side effects. The study involved Sysomos as an institutional data partner which resells data from the Facebook/Datasift consortium. Mentions of 71 prespecified keywords and keyphrases in any Facebook story or interaction were recorded between 9 January 2017 and 8 February 2017. Summary aggregate statistics were provided for US adults ≥35 years of age, rounded up to the nearest 100 mentions. The most common topic for the 25 700 mentions was atorvastatin. Shared links included those to health policy, health politics, medical, nutritional and general informational websites. Typical statin side effects were mentioned by 1200 users, referring to formal terms (n=55) or informal terms (n=700). The frequency of mentioning statin-related side effects was similar across all age brackets. The authors note that as the actual text of the Facebook posts are unavailable, it is unknown whether postings represented the user’s own use of statins, and that separation of causal or coincidental links is impossible. In addition, the search criteria used were not exhaustive, and their reliability was untested. However, "these findings suggest patients who take statins do not discuss this widely on Facebook". "The use of online social networks to listen for early evidence of drug side effects has theoretical potential," note the authors, "but the reality of data availability remains a serious challenge". They note that "partnering directly with Facebook could overcome this obstacle, although privacy constraints may stymie this promise". Huesch MD. Commercial Online Social Network Data and Statin Side-Effect Surveillance: A Pilot Observational Study of Aggregate Mentions on Facebook. Drug Safety : 26 Jul 2017 803263323 0114-9954/17/1664-0001/$14.95 Adis © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved Reactions 12 Aug 2017 No. 1664
Reactions Weekly – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 12, 2017
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