A recent study shows that 1 in 20 persons who had covid 19 in the US have used non-approved treatment. Researchers also show that 6% of people are individuals with a college degree and those with higher incomes. This study was published in the JAMA Health Forum. Researchers conducted a nationwide survey involving nearly 13,450 adults. They focused on individuals who endorsed COVID-19 vaccine-related misinformation, displayed distrust in hospitals, medical professionals, and scientists, and strongly believed in conspiracy theories.
The findings indicate that 1 in 20 individuals who contracted COVID-19 in the US resorted to non-evidence-based treatments, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Despite official warnings from health authorities, these medications gained popularity among a subset of the population.
Study Details and Participants
The study was conducted between December 2022 and January 2023, involving US residents aged 18 and older who had previously been infected with COVID-19. Among the participants, 6% reported using either ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine to treat their COVID-19 infection.
Increased Prescriptions Despite Warnings
It’s worth noting that the US Food and Drug Administration had explicitly discouraged using these medications for COVID-19 treatment. Nevertheless, prescriptions for these drugs increased in the U.S., Canada and Australia during the pandemic’s early stages.
The study further revealed that individuals who trusted social media and former President Donald Trump were more likely to have used ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine. Conversely, those with faith in physicians and hospitals were less likely to resort to these unproven treatments.
Demographically, the study found that males, individuals with a college degree, those with higher income, and Hispanic individuals were more likely to have taken ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine. Conversely, those 65 years and older were less likely to use non-evidence-based treatments.
Implications of Misinformation
In conclusion, the study suggests that the influence of misinformation extends beyond vaccine hesitancy, potentially leading to the use of ineffective and potentially harmful treatments. These findings underscore the importance of combating misinformation and promoting evidence-based healthcare practices in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.