Online self-diagnosis poses a health riskJanuary 4th, 2011 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 4 (IANS) People relying on medical websites are risking their health because many fail to check whether the information online is factually correct.
Record numbers are expected to log on for health advice this week, with British health sites likely to receive 40 million hits, according to Bupa Health.
The Bupa Health Pulse survey, which questioned over 12,000 people around the world, found that 73 percent of Britons went online for health information, 64 percent looked for information about medicines and 58 percent to self-diagnose.
However, only 25 percent bothered to check where the information had come from, the Telegraph reports.
Advocates of using the internet to find out about health problems say it has given people far more power in the doctor-patient relationship, which they say used to be too reverential.
But this new survey suggests that many risk being misled by inaccurate information, potentially putting themselves at risk.
The study found a myriad of potential health conditions for common complaints, depending on the websites visited.
For example, one suggested pins and needles was caused by a Vitamin B12 deficiency, another that it was a sign of sciatica, and a third that it was symptomatic of Multiple Sclerosis.
Stomach cramps were diagnosed as symptomatic of either indigestion, appendicitis or angina.
Annabel Bentley, medical director of Bupa Health and Wellbeing, warned: “Relying on dodgy information can easily lead to people taking risks with inappropriate tests and treatments, wasting money and causing unnecessary worry.”
A spokesman for the British Medical Association said: “The internet can be a fantastic source of health information, but does need to be used very selectively.”
- A third of Indians surf the net for health info: Survey - Jan 17, 2011
- Seeking cures online may be hazardous to health - Sep 01, 2010
- Unhealthy lifestyle 'cutting 12 yrs off average Brit's life' - Mar 09, 2011
- Indians booze the least in the world - Dec 07, 2010
- Britain is the world's booziest nation! - Dec 07, 2010
- Doctors warn of catastrophic consequences from using Dr Google - Feb 10, 2011
- Night shifts raise heart attack risk - Jul 27, 2012
- 1 in 5 Brits opens up about true feelings while online - May 23, 2010
- Indians prefer banking over shopping on internet: Survey - Apr 04, 2012
- Chinese netizens unhappy with information on Govt. sites - Dec 18, 2010
- Max Bupa bids for state health insurance in three states - Oct 18, 2011
- Beware! Your partner's nagging could invite heartache - Dec 24, 2010
- Patients with high cholesterol' 'not getting the treatment they need' - Feb 02, 2011
- More people Googling symptoms for self-diagnosis - Mar 18, 2012
- Beware of Internet-based medicine info - Jul 03, 2010
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,