Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Analysis of Statin-Related Topics and Sentiments on Social Media. JAMA network open Somani, S., van Buchem, M. M., Sarraju, A., Hernandez-Boussard, T., Rodriguez, F. 2023; 6 (4): e239747


Despite compelling evidence that statins are safe, are generally well tolerated, and reduce cardiovascular events, statins are underused even in patients with the highest risk. Social media may provide contemporary insights into public perceptions about statins.To characterize and classify public perceptions about statins that were gleaned from more than a decade of statin-related discussions on Reddit, a widely used social media platform.This qualitative study analyzed all statin-related discussions on the social media platform that were dated between January 1, 2009, and July 12, 2022. Statin- and cholesterol-focused communities, were identified to create a list of statin-related discussions. An artificial intelligence (AI) pipeline was developed to cluster these discussions into specific topics and overarching thematic groups. The pipeline consisted of a semisupervised natural language processing model (BERT [Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers]), a dimensionality reduction technique, and a clustering algorithm. The sentiment for each discussion was labeled as positive, neutral, or negative using a pretrained BERT model.Statin-related posts and comments containing the terms statin and cholesterol.Statin-related topics and thematic groups.A total of 10?233 unique statin-related discussions (961 posts and 9272 comments) from 5188 unique authors were identified. The number of statin-related discussions increased by a mean (SD) of 32.9% (41.1%) per year. A total of 100 discussion topics were identified and were classified into 6 overarching thematic groups: (1) ketogenic diets, diabetes, supplements, and statins; (2) statin adverse effects; (3) statin hesitancy; (4) clinical trial appraisals; (5) pharmaceutical industry bias and statins; and (6) red yeast rice and statins. The sentiment analysis revealed that most discussions had a neutral (66.6%) or negative (30.8%) sentiment.Results of this study demonstrated the potential of an AI approach to analyze large, contemporary, publicly available social media data and generate insights into public perceptions about statins. This information may help guide strategies for addressing barriers to statin use and adherence.

View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.9747

View details for PubMedID 37093597