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One in Four Tracks Health Data Online, Survey Finds

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, of the 74 percent of us who use the Internet, 80 percent have looked online for health information about any of 15 health topics such as a specific disease or treatment.  That translates to 59 percent of all adults.

"People often go on line first to prepare for doctor appointments and then go online after to recover from a doctors appointment," says Susannah Fox, associate director at the Pew Internet Project.

Fox also describes the kind of information for which people are searching. People with chronic illnesses or those caring for an older adult are "most likely looking a user-generated content like hospital comparison tools or online drug reviews," Fox says.

But, Fox adds, "Looking for symptoms in treatments continues to be the most popular activity."

The Internet Project also found that increasing numbers are using mobile devices and social networking sites as well to search for health information. One in four tracks their own health data, such as weight and exercise routines, Fox says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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