The Washington Post, February 1, 2011
Seeking health information is the third-most-prevalent activity among American Internet users, according to a report being issued Feb. 1 by the Pew Internet Project. The only things more universal were exchanging e-mail and using search engines. (Of course, if someone uses Google to look up "shingles," there's obviously some overlap.) Eight out of 10 Internet users report going online for health information, even if it's only occasionally. People most commonly look up diseases, treatments and doctors, often on behalf of a child or other dependent. Pew has been tracking Internet use in many fields -- commerce, music, civic life - since 2000. The study also reflects the broader reality that Internet use is divided by race and class. Pew said that fewer than half of adults in the following groups use the Internet for healthcare information: African Americans, Latinos, people 65 and older, disabled adults and those living in households with less than $30,000 annual income.