WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that 45 percent of Americans live with one or more chronic health conditions.

The Pew study showed that 45 percent of Americans are afflicted with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer — and many are diagnosing themselves through the Internet.

Thirty-one percent of U.S. adults living with some type of chronic condition reported going online for the purpose of figuring out what type of medical condition may be affecting them. Sixty percent of those people said they talked with a medical professional after making such an “online diagnosis.”

Americans living with chronic medical problems were more likely than other adults to gather, share and seek medical information online. They are likely to be older and have faced a medical emergency at some point in the last year, likely driving up U.S. health care costs, Pew reports.

Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults living with chronic conditions reported using the Internet as a medical information tool.

The nationwide survey was conducted by telephone with 3,014 American adults.


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