Do you have a rash between your clavicles? A bump where there shouldn't be? Dry mouth, itchy throat, dandruff? If so, you may have looked online for the answer.
That's the conclusion of a new Harris Poll released this week, which found that more and more connected Americans are looking online for the answers to health-related questions: roughly 88 percent of all Americans who go online.
In raw numbers, over 175 million Americans viewed health information online, up from 154 million last year and 50 million American adults in 1998.
The pollster surveyed 1,066 Americans between July 13 and 18, discovering that 81 percent of Americans have looked for health information online in the last month, with 17 percent doing it more than ten times. These "cyberchondriacs," Harris found, are evidence that more and more Americans are looking online for health information. But a CNN report also suggests that it can be taken to extremes.
Harris also found that these health nuts are finding what they're looking for: only 9 percent say they haven't found the answers they seek, and only 8 percent said they considered the information that they did find unreliable.
About 51 percent said they went hunting for health info online as a result of a suggestion by their doctors, and 53 percent said that they discussed their findings with their physician.
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