Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally due to the hardening of arteries caused by high cholesterol levels. Statins are effective in lowering cholesterol, but many people fail to take them as prescribed.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been playing an increasingly important role in healthcare. One area where it has shown promise is in understanding patients’ attitudes toward cholesterol medications.
High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and medications such as statins are often prescribed to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, some patients may have concerns or negative attitudes toward these medications, which can impact their adherence to treatment and overall health outcomes.
Stanford Medicine researchers have developed an AI algorithm to analyze discussions about statins on Reddit. They found that discussions were mostly negative and full of misinformation, which may explain why some people skip doses or avoid the drug altogether.
Lead researcher Fatima Rodriguez, MD, “stated that almost all the information they found was misinformation, particularly about side effects and unproven treatments.”
Rodriguez said, “I was not surprised. As a preventive cardiologist, I see this statin hesitancy all the time. However, there were some interesting new themes around the ketogenic diet and cholesterol science.”
According to Stanford Medicine researchers, discussions on Reddit reveal that some people who follow the ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, develop high cholesterol levels. While they lose weight, the high-fat content of the diet can lead to high cholesterol.
Despite this, some dieters reported feeling healthier than ever before and questioned the link between bad cholesterol and heart disease, which has ample scientific evidence supporting it. The researchers were surprised to find that diet enthusiasm could lead to questioning basic science about cholesterol.
Somani said, “It makes a case for why AI is a good tool for this kind of research because it helped find these new topics that we weren’t expecting.”
Researchers from Stanford University developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to analyze social media discussions related to statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs. They found that discussions on the social media platform Reddit are largely negative and full of misinformation. Misconceptions about statin side effects and unproven alternative treatments to lower cholesterol were the most common topics discussed.
Furthermore, the researchers found that many people who lost weight on the ketogenic diet developed high cholesterol levels, leading them to question the link between cholesterol and heart disease.
The researchers hope this AI algorithm could be used to evaluate sentiments towards other drugs or evidence-based care to address misinformation in public health.
AI-based tools offer a new approach to measuring patients’ perceptions of cholesterol medications. These tools use natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze patients’ responses to surveys or online forums and identify themes or patterns in their attitudes toward cholesterol drugs. For example, AI can detect patients expressing concerns about potential side effects, cost, or medication effectiveness.
AI-based tools offer a new approach to measuring patients’ perceptions of cholesterol medications. These tools use natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze patients’ responses to surveys or online forums and identify themes or patterns in their attitudes toward cholesterol drugs. For example, AI can detect if patients are expressing concerns about potential side effects, cost, or effectiveness of the medication.
By providing accurate and objective measurements of patient attitudes, AI can help healthcare providers tailor their communication and education efforts to address patients’ specific concerns and increase treatment adherence. This can lead to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs in the long term.
One example of an AI-powered tool for measuring patient attitudes toward cholesterol medications is the Cholesterol Drugs Forum, developed by researchers at the University of California San Diego.
The forum is an online platform where patients can share their experiences and opinions about cholesterol medications, and AI algorithms analyze the posts to identify common themes and attitudes.
The researchers found that the forum provided valuable insights into patient concerns and attitudes toward cholesterol medications, which can inform the development of patient education and communication strategies.
Overall, AI-based tools have the potential to revolutionize the way healthcare providers understand and address patient attitudes toward cholesterol medications. By providing a more accurate and objective measurement of patient perceptions, these tools can improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
- Su Golder, Karen O’Connor, et al. Assessment of Beliefs and Attitudes About Statins Posted on Twitter. JAMA Network Open. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.8953