Deliver Your News to the World

Life Often Takes Precedence Over Managing Family Health Information


National Survey Reveals That 63 Percent of Adults Say Other Day-to-Day Responsibilities Come Before Managing Family’s Health
WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ -- 04/27/2005 -- Many American adults are so busy managing their daily lives that conducting important health-related tasks are often overlooked. A recent survey commissioned by Merck & Co., Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive® found that 63 percent of all U.S. adults and 75 percent of those adults living with children say day-to-day responsibilities often take priority over organizing their family’s health histories and records, or learning about health conditions.(1) In fact, the survey results indicate that just more than one-third (36%) of all respondents feel they have the time or take the time necessary to conduct these important health-related tasks.

“Taking time now can certainly help in the long run, whether in an emergency or as preparation or follow-up to a routine physical,” said Marie Savard, M.D., internist, author and patient advocate based in Philadelphia. “When patients better understand and manage their health conditions and histories it can help healthcare providers deliver more accurate diagnoses, ensure the best management strategies and empower patients to achieve better health and wellness.”

Dr. Savard says her most important tip is to use the Internet to find web sites that contain health information from sources that doctors trust and that offer tools to help organize health records. “People often say: how can I add one more thing on to my list of to-dos?” said Dr. Savard. “Today, trusted online resources, like, are available to provide the organizational tools and information needed by the busy mother, father -- family manager.”

Even with easy-to-use health organization resources and tools available on the Internet, this latest Harris Interactive survey found that only 6 percent of online adults use the Internet to keep their health information organized.(2) “It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of time, but it is important to make the most of the time that you do spend researching or organizing health information by using credible resources,” said Dr. Savard.

Jean Faber, a human resource consultant and companion dog trainer, followed Dr. Savard’s advice to learn more about her health and to get her family’s health information organized. “Being organized and knowing where to go for quality health information makes me feel so much more in control of my own healthcare,” said Jean. “Using the information, tools and forms on has helped me feel more empowered in my own healthcare as well as my family’s healthcare.” offers easy-to-use online medical information and provides visitors with a variety of unbiased, credible health resources and tools, including health calculators, risk assessments and health trackers, as well as printable forms to help visitors log health records and chart family health histories. The award-winning site also features Spanish language content, 3-D images of the human body, easy access to “The Merck Manual - Home Edition” (the best-selling medical reference written in plain language by health experts for consumers) and a comprehensive overview of many medical conditions specifically relevant to men, women, children and seniors.

To access health information and tools for organizing health records and information, go to

Survey Methodology

Harris Interactive® conducted the study online on behalf of Merck & Co. from March 24-28, 2005, among a nationwide sample of 2,906 U.S. adults aged 18 and over, of whom 936 live with children. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Because of content, data were also weighted to be representative of the total U.S. online adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, and race/ethnicity. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error for the sub-sample results of adults living with children is plus or minus 5 percentage points. This online sample was not a probability sample.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive Inc. (, the 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll® and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.

Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (, Paris-based Novatris (, Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

About MerckSource

For more than 100 years, Merck’s commitment to patients and caregivers has included providing unbiased, high-quality, information about healthcare. Merck offers a wealth of unbiased, independently reviewed health information resources to the public and health care professionals free of charge. contains no advertisements or product endorsements and has a strict privacy policy, which is detailed on the site. The information on is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. A licensed healthcare professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. recently was awarded the Fall/Winter 2004 Gold Award for Patient Education Information Web Site by the WWW Health Awards, a program that recognizes the best health-related web sites for consumers and professionals. The award program is organized by Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials. In 2004, was also recognized by “Medicine on the Net,” receiving a Web Excellence Award Honorable Mention for Overall Content, Consumer Portal.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines in more than 20 therapeutic categories. The company also devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service.

(1) Percentages represent those respondents who answered always, often or sometimes, when asked, “How often do you find that day-to-day responsibilities/activities, such as household chores, kids’ activities, work or family obligations, take precedence over health research/maintaining health records?”

(2) This statistic was weighted to represent the U.S. Online Adult Population; all other statistics have been weighted to represent the U.S. General Population – Propensity.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.