Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

What Health-Minded Smartphone Users Have In Common With Obama Voters

Maybe I've got too many election results on my brain.

But the Pew Research Center's report about how people are using their mobile phones to get health information sent me to the data from the exit polls. Really.

Why?

The bottom line of the Pew report is that cellphone "owners who are Latino, African American, between the ages of 18-49, or hold a college degree are also more likely to gather health information" than other people on their mobile phones.

Pew says the various factors are independent, so it's not just that young people are more likely to have a smartphone, for instance. Each factor can "amplify," in Pew's words, the likelihood that people will use their phones to get health information.

As you might expect, smartphone owners are even more likely to access health info with their devices than regular old cellphone owners are.

When it comes to health apps on smartphones, women were more likely to use them than men. The Pew survey of more than 3,000 people was done in August and early September.

Now, let's review the profile of voters who went for President Obama in a big way, according the data from Edison Research.

He dominated among African-Americans, Latinos and Asians. (No Pew breakout for Asians.) Female voters also preferred Obama.

The president cleaned up among younger people, getting 60 percent of votes cast by those ages 18 to 29 and a majority of votes from those 30 to 44. Romney claimed a majority among people 45 and up.

Among people with at least a college degree, Obama got half the voters, just a tad more than the 48 percent that went for Romney.

And, as you'd probably expect, voters who thought health was the most important issue facing the country overwhelmingly went for Obama.

Let's be clear, I'm no Nate Silver. These are impressions, not scientific comparisons.

Still, it seemed to me there was enough demographic overlap to suggest that quite a few Obama supporters were probably punching away at their phones for health info while waiting in line to vote.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.