Report: 1 in 3 turn to web for self-diagnosis - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Report: 1 in 3 turn to web for self-diagnosis

WASHINGTON (CNN) -

According to a Pew Research study, 35 percent of American adults have gone online to self diagnose.

For some who turn to the internet to diagnose their symptoms, the search results are their first or second opinion, not a doctor, according to this new survey.

Pew Research interviewed more than 300,000 people by phone. While the internet is a source of health information for many, the survey says medical professionals are still people's top choice when dealing with serious medical conditions.

So why the attraction to self diagnose online? Susannah fox, the author of the report, says that's because it's easy and convenient. Online health information is available day or night, at no cost

One of the pitfalls of self diagnosing is often times symptoms are similar to many illnesses you could misdiagnose. Thinking your condition is more serious than it really is could lead to unnecessary stress.      

As one doctor put it, there is  a lot of bad information on the internet, so always consider your source.

Copyright 2012 CNN. All rights reserved.

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