Canadians Google for Symptoms of ..

Google doctor

Over the past year, when Canadians used Google to search for information about symptoms, here are the top 10 health conditions that they were looking for: (1)

  1. Cancer
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Flu
  4. Diabetes
  5. Anxiety
  6. Cold
  7. Menstruation
  8. Thyroid
  9. Depression
  10. Pneumonia

Google has also seen a rise over the past year from Canadian searches about symptoms for the following conditions: (1)

  1. Mumps (+500%)
  2. Food poison (+300%)
  3. Lyme disease (+200%)
  4. Norovirus (+200%)
  5. West nile virus (+120%)


Go ahead and search for information, but please beware of diagnosing yourself with the data that you find online.  In a head-to-head study where doctors were given the same medical history and symptom information as online symptom checkers, the doctor got the right diagnosis 72% of the time vs. only 34% for the online apps.(2)

Sources:  1) Google Trends.  2) JAMA Internal Medicine, online October 10, 2016.

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