Number of Online Health Users Levels Off, Survey Finds
The number of U.S. consumers who consult the Internet for health information has leveled off, following several years during which the number increased, according to a survey from Harris Interactive. Fifty-two percent of adults looked online for health information this year, compared with 53% last year, 47% in 2001, 34% in 1999 and 27% in 1998. Using general searches remained the most popular method for finding health information on the Internet, with 54% of users relying on a Web portal or search engine. Another 20% of online health consumers used sites focused on health-related topics. The survey also found that consumers with higher incomes and college or postgraduate degrees were more likely than other consumers to use the Internet to retrieve health information. Harris interviewed 1,010 U.S. consumers in February for the survey ("No Significant Change in the Numbers of 'Cybercondriacs,'" 3/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.