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February 10th, 2010
More American Adults are Searching for Health Information Online

A recent report made by Pew Internet & American Life Project has revealed some interesting information and statistics regarding American adults and online health information. The study reveals that, with the recent credit crunch, more patients are spending time trying to find affordable health care information online. Here are some of the additional highlights of the changing trends in accessing health information:

1. 61% of American adults look online for health information (“e-patients”)

While 86% of American adults still ask health care professionals for health information about prescription drugs, the trend in finding information online is increasing. The vast majority of people who use the internet for health inquiries are still using somewhat traditional sources. They have begun to read blogs, listen to podcasts, update their social networks, and post comments in forums. However, most of these “e-patients” begin their quest for information by using a search engine.

2. There has been a huge increase of searches made for exercise, fitness and vaccination information

Around 80% of all adult Internet users, or about 93 million Americans over the age of 18, say that they have searched for at least one of those specific topics at some point. 30% of email users have received or sent a health-related email. Women are also more likely to search for health information and exchange health-related emails.

3. Those seeking prescription drugs or non-prescription drugs are less likely to look at alternative or experimental treatments

45% Americans have used the internet to find more information about prescription drugs. Searches for prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs have experienced a significant jump in the last six years. In addition, women are much more likely to be searching for online information about prescription drugs.

4. One third of internet users have searched for weight loss or weight control information

There is a noticeable difference in the demographics of internet users searching for information about weight loss. Women, younger adults and college-educated people are considerably more likely to search for weight loss material.

5. There are three major changes coming in regards to accessing online health information

First, mobile access is on the rise. Users with mobile access to the internet are more likely than others to contribute their comments and reviews to online conversations about health care. Second, adults between the ages of 18 to 49 are more likely than older adults to access online information related to health. Third, the tradition of asking a health professional, a trusted friend, or a family member will likely not change.

For more information about the changing trends in searching for health care information online, visit www.orderonlinedrugs.com

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