According to Health Topics, a report released in February by the Pew Research Center and the California Healthcare Foundation, eight in ten Internet users, or 59% of the U.S. population, search for health information online. Searches for health information are the third most popular online activity, behind checking email and using search engines. The report was based on telephone interviews conducted between August 9 and September 13, 2010.
Among possible health-related searches, the most frequent (by 66% of respondents) was for information about a specific disease or condition. Searches of this type have occupied the top spot since 2002, ahead of searches for information about specific medical treatments or procedures, information about physicians and other health professionals, and information about health care facilities.
The Health Topics report is part of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The full text of the report can be found online.