(HealthDay News) – The top 10 most Google-searched symptoms in 2013 included those for pregnancy, influenza, and diabetes, but not those for cancer or heart disease, according to an article published Dec. 18 in Medical Economics.
Donna Marbury notes that, according to one study, 59% of adults search for health information online, and about one-third (35%) have tried to diagnose a medical condition based on information from the Internet. According to the results of a 2011 Wolters Kluwer survey, 53% of physicians felt that patients knowing more about symptoms from the Internet was positive, while 20% reported that increased access to information led to misinformation and incorrect self-diagnosis.
The most Google-searched symptoms of 2013 included symptoms of pregnancy, influenza, diabetes, anxiety, thyroid, HIV, mononucleosis, lupus, herpes, and pneumonia. Heart attack, which was in the top 10 in 2012, and cancer, two of the leading causes of death, were not in the top 10 most searched symptoms.
“Some doctors even admit to turning to the web when diagnosing a particularly challenging case,” Marbury writes. “Up to 63% of physicians reported that online resources change their initial decisions about patient care.”