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Fact and Stats

Looking up health information is the third most common online activity among U.S. Internet users, with eight out of 10 Internet users reporting doing so, according to a new report, the result of a collaboration between the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation.

Among Internet users who go online for health information:

  • 48% said they search for online health information on behalf of someone else;
  • 36% said they use the Internet to look up health information for themselves; and
  • 11% said they search for online health information for themselves and for others.

In addition, researchers noted that the five most popular types of health-related Web searches are for information on:

  • Specific diseases or medical problems;
  • Medical treatments or procedures;
  • Physicians or other medical professionals;
  • Hospitals or other health care facilities; and
  • Health insurance

According to the report, smart phones and mobile devices have changed how people use the Internet to search for health information. Researchers noted that pregnancy, herpes and sexually transmitted infections were among the most common health searches on Yahoo’s mobile site, but that the terms did not appear among the top health searches for non-mobile search engines.

According to the report, the popularity of Web-based searches for health information varies by race and income level. Researchers found that fewer than half of adults who are black, Hispanic, ages 65 and older, disabled or living in a household with an annual income of less than $30,000 used the Internet to find health information.

Read more

Source: Food Safety, Drug Safety and Pregnancy Information Are among Eight New Topics Included in Our Survey

Date: February 1, 2010

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 1:14 pm and is filed under Longwoods Online.