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The number of so-called cyberchondriacs seeking health information on the Web has soared to about 160 million in 2006 a 37% rise over two years, according a new poll. “Cyberchondriacs now represent 84% of all online adults, up from last year’s 80%, and 72% in 2005,” Harris Interactive, the market research firm that conducted the poll, said.
“The reasons for this increase are that the total number of Internet users has increased somewhat and the per cent of people online who have looked for information has increased as well,” it added. The nationwide telephone poll of 1,010 adults conducted earlier this month showed cyberchondriacs on average search the Internet almost six times per month and the majority find what they are looking for.
Eighty-six per cent of people questioned in the poll said the health information they found online was reliable, which was a slight drop from the previous year when 90% were satisfied with the data.
“Cyberchondriacs are not only using the Internet to educate themselves, many are also using it to assist in their conversation with their physicians,” the company added .
Source: The Times Of India