Survey shows 35 percent of Americans self diagnose on the Internet

6:25 AM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO -  A new survey by the Pew Research Center out of Washington D.C. reveals how many people are turning to the Internet rather than a doctor to diagnose medical issues and illnesses.

According to the survey, 35 percent of adults in the U.S. say they have used the Internet in an attempt to diagnose their medical condition.

The survey results, published in USA Today on Tuesday, showed that people are using information they find online to determine whether or not to consult a doctor. About one-third of those surveyed ended up handling their medical problem on their own.

Not everyone is relying on sites like WebMD though. In a separate survey, 70 percent of respondents said when it came to a serious condition, they went to the doctor. 

The dangers of self-diagnosing via the Internet is twofold: First,  individuals may have a serious condition that could go undetected and untreated because they opted not to visit a doctor. Secondly, Internet searches often lead individuals to believe they have a more serious condition than is actually the case, creating unnecessary anxiety.


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