Online health information is in demand. In fact, four out of five (78.1%) Americans turn to the Internet to gather health information, according to a recent Burst Media study. This massive use of the Internet to collect health information demonstrates the reach and impact the Internet now has into daily life. The Internet is relied upon more than healthcare professionals for family health information, and cited by 45.2% of respondents as the primary place to gather information to help keep their household healthy.
Women in particular are flocking to the Internet for health information. This is particularly true for women between the ages of 25-34 years; of whom nine out of ten (90.1%) seek health information online. Within this important group, nearly two-thirds (64.1%) point to the Internet as the primary resource they turn to for information to keep their household healthy. Other household health resources identified by respondents included: healthcare professionals (23.0%), friends and family (12.9%), television (6.1%), newspapers/magazines (6.1%), and brochures/pamphlets (5.1%).
The frequency of Internet use for health information is also impacted by age. Respondents 18-34 years are the most frequent consumers of online health information, with 40.8% of this group searching online for health information at least once a week â€“ compared to 29.0% of respondents 35 years and older. Interestingly, females 25-34 and males 18-24 are the most frequent consumers of online health information – with 45.5% and 44.3% respectively doing so at least once a week.