April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Internet Survey and Google Trends: Diabetes and Pregnancy
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Janet Trang
    Molecular, Cell, Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • Michael Li
    Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • Robert On
    Economics, Google, Inc, Mountain View, California
  • Shea Putnam
    Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California
  • Gloria Wu
    Ophthalmology, Stanford Univ School of Med, San Jose, California
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Janet Trang, None; Michael Li, None; Robert On, None; Shea Putnam, None; Gloria Wu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 609. doi:
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      Janet Trang, Michael Li, Robert On, Shea Putnam, Gloria Wu; Internet Survey and Google Trends: Diabetes and Pregnancy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):609.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Health literacy of diabetic retinopathy in pregnancy is not well studied. However, Google Trends(GT) and Google Insight(GI) show that there is a rise in internet searches for diabetes in pregnancy (2007-2010). We have created a survey to assess public knowledge about vision loss and diabetic pregnancy.


A questionnaire(QN) about vision and diabetes during pregnancy is posted on internet forums directed at pregnant women.


GT shows a relative increase (2.54x of normal) in searches for "diabetes in pregnancy" in 2010. GI shows that the majority of internet searches came from PA, TX, NY, FL, CA, and VA where the respective diabetic populations (9, 9.7, 9.5, 9.8, 10, 8%) are greater than the national average of 7.7% (CDC). Total 105 responses (RS) are collected. Average age: 31.4 yrs ± 9.4. Education: 21 (20%) High school, 68(64.7%) college, 15 (14.2%) beyond college. 40(38.1%) developed gestational diabetes and 22(20.9%) are diabetic prior to pregnancy. Of these 62 diabetic patients, 16(25.8%) are referred to an ophthalmologist. 89 (84.7%) of the total 105 know that diabetes during pregnancy can lead to macrosomia, 72 (68.5%) are told to monitor their glucose levels, 43 (40.9%) know that diabetes during pregnancy could lead to vision loss, and 90 (85.7%) know that gestational diabetes could lead to later diabetes.


Online surveys coupled with Google Trends, Google Insight delineate our patients’ concerns in diabetes and pregnancy. The majority of the respondents in our small study know that gestational diabetes could lead to diabetes in the future and macrosomia. However, only 43% know that diabetes during pregnancy can lead to vision loss. Furthermore only 25.8% of the diabetic respondents are referred to an ophthalmologist. More health literacy studies in the future will enable physicians to target patient education initiatives.  

Keywords: diabetes • detection • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower 

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