Three-quarters of Internet users get medical info online

WASHINGTON According to a survey from the Pew Internet Project, 75 percent of Internet users answered yes to the question, “Do you ever use the Internet to look for health or medical information?” The national phone survey took place between October and December of last year.

The survey also showed that, 10 percent of Internet users say they searched for health information “yesterday,” which in a tracking survey yields a picture of the “typical day” online. Health has moved up in the “typical day” list (from 7 percent in 2006 to the current 10 percent of Internet users), but for most people the average day includes lots of emails (60 percent of Internet users), general searches (49 percent), and news reading (39 percent) if they are online at all (30 percent of Internet users are offline on a typical day).

The usual patterns among the basic demographic groups hold true in regards to looking for health information online:

  • 68 percent of online men
  • 81 percent of online women
  • 76 percent of white Internet users
  • 65 percent of African-American Internet users
  • 71 percent of English-speaking Hispanic Internet users
  • 78 percent of people aged 30-49
  • 76 percent of people aged 50-64
  • 71 percent of Internet users age 6 and older

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