In past surveys, the Pew Internet Project has not defined a time period for health searches online. This time, the phrase "in the past 12 months" was added to help focus respondents on recent searches.
As one would expect, the percentages dipped for each of the topics we include in the list. For example, 55% of internet users say they looked online for information about a specific disease or medical problem in the past year, compared with 66% of internet users who, in 2010, said they had ever done such a search.
Women are more likely than men to seek health information online, as are internet users with higher levels of education:
There are only four significant differences among white, African American, and Latino internet users when it comes to health topics: specific diseases, weight control, a drug seen in advertising, and pregnancy. Differences among age groups are a much more mixed bag of topics.
Internet users with health insurance are significantly more likely than those without health insurance to research certain topics, such as a specific disease or treatment. Other topics, such as food and drug safety, are moderately more popular among internet users with health insurance, compared with those who do not report having insurance coverage.