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In this digital age, many individuals who receive positive HbA1c tests for diabetes turn to the internet for answers to their questions about the condition. However, a new study has found that this may be a dangerous practices, as many community sites for people with the condition contain unqualified information that may be misleading and even dangerous.
Researchers from the Children's Hospital in Boston examined the content of 10 different social networking sites for individuals with diabetes. They found that only about half of these sites provide information that was consistent with current scientific knowledge regarding the condition.
Furthermore, the investigation revealed inconsistencies with privacy protection. Seven out of the 10 sites did not allow users to customize privacy settings for their profiles, making intimate information about their condition available to anyone on the internet.
"We saw that people are sharing incredible amounts of personal health information on these sites, including highly identifiable information," said Elissa Weitzman, who led the study. "They are eager to accelerate their understanding of the disease, obtain support, find treatments and see if their experience is common or different."
She added that patients should consult with their doctors for the most accurate and reliable information on their conditions before turning to internet resources.
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