The Top Search Terms of 2012: Hemorrhoids, Herpes, and Heartburn



What ails you? If a 2012 Google Zeitgeist trending health issues is any indication, it’s your bum.

Yes, “hemorrhoids” tops a list this year. Why? “I don’t know, nonetheless hemorrhoids are unequivocally a pain in a butt,” says Satish Rattan, DVM, a highbrow of medicine in a dialect of gastroenterology during Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He’s doing pioneering investigate on molecular causes of hemorrhoids. “It’s a matter of dignity,” he explains.

Moving adult a GI track, a second biggest trending tenure is gastroesophageal reflux, a.k.a., GERD. Other trending GI issues embody heartburn (#8) and celiac disease (#9).

The third biggest trending term, though, is “sexually transmitted diseases.” (Also, herpes is #5 among many searched terms.) Here it gets interesting: How mostly we hunt for STDs depends on what device you’re regulating – a phone or a computer.

“STDs are many aloft on a list of searches for mobile devices,” says Susannah Fox, associate executive during a Pew Internet Project, who runs a health research. One probable reason: “Mobile users are some-more expected to be younger.” Internet, contra mobile, health searchers are many expected to be in a 30-to-54 age range, she says–perhaps past a rise ages for STD worry.

Why do we adore these lists? “The web is so big, and overwhelming, there’s always a consternation if you’re unequivocally connected to what’s unequivocally going on,” says Amy Tenderich, who runs a renouned Diabetes Mine blog (about Type 1 diabetes), and works for a association that runs Diabetic Connect, a village and ask-the-expert site. “You wish to know what’s hot, what everybody is articulate about, so we don’t skip anything.”

Diabetes, it turns out, is hot. It shows adult as series dual on dual other lists: many searched terms, and many searched symptoms. However, once people find out a basis by search, they might dive deeper by amicable networking sites.

“People are seeking if amicable networks are replacing hunt as a source of information,” says Pew’s Susannah Fox. “We looked during that in a 2012 survey, that will be expelled in a integrate of weeks. We found that, in general, hunt is still king. When looking for health information in 2012, 77% still started with a hunt engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo, 13% started with a special site like WebMD, and 2% started during a site like Wikipedia. Only 1% started with a amicable site like Facebook or Twitter.”

But that changes for people who have ongoing conditions. “We’re anticipating that amicable networking sites and blogs are common sources for people who are vital with ongoing conditions. They’re looking for unsentimental tips.”

What’s next? How will we be removing a digital health information in a future? While Google hunt terms aren’t expected to change–cancer, diabetes, and basin have been tip hunt terms for years – some trends are emerging:

Peer-to-peer crowdsourcing
On blogs like Diabetes Mine or sites like Diabetes Connect, people can ask questions and get answers from others vital with accurately those conditions. (One post about a new drug now has 2,000 comments.) “About 1 in 5 Internet users have left online to find others who have identical health concerns,” says Susannah Fox.

Mobile, solemnly
Of march it’s growing, nonetheless when it comes to health, maybe slower than a hype. “In 2012, 85% of U.S. adults owned a dungeon phone, nonetheless usually 31% used it to hunt for health info online.” Mobile apps for practice and dieting are popular, nonetheless we’re not nonetheless regulating a phones as a primary source of health info–or to get content health alerts. By contrast, while a same commission of Americans have entrance to a Internet, 84% have used it to hunt health information.

Participatory medicine
Once, perhaps, your alloy was a categorical source of health info. Now many people go online before they see their docs. Some physicians acquire that, a transformation call Participatory Medicine. Some even “prescribe” websites for certain patients.

“The mindset is changing,” says Daniel Sands, MD, MPH, partner clinical highbrow during Harvard Medical School and co-founder of a Society for Participatory Medicine. “Doctors might approach patients to health caring websites, rather than only prescribing drugs.” At a same time, doctors who allow to participatory medicine–they can indeed get a sign from a website–welcome patients who learn about health online.

“We should ask each singular patient, ‘Do we go online? What sites do we find useful?,” says Dr. Sands. “We need to let them know that they can share information with us. It’s a really critical partial of a attribute with a patients.” Over a subsequent few years, some-more and some-more patients will be means to perspective their health annals online, download and broadcast it to someone else, and promulgate with their doctors, he says. “The epoch of medicine as a witness competition – ‘I’m sick, doctor, repair me’ – is over. The new indication is participatory medicine.”

Here are a 2012 Google Zeitgeist lists. Let a 2013 acid begin!

United States Trending Health Issues 2012
1. Hemorrhoid
2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
3. Sexually Transmitted Disease
4. Diaper Rash
5. Diarrhea
6. Urinary tract infection
7. Miscarriage
8. Heartburn
9. Celiac disease
10. PTSD

United States Most-Searched Health Issues 2012
1. Cancer
2. Diabetes
3. Depression
4. Acne
5. Herpes
6. Back pain
7. Burns
8. Breast cancer
9. Autism
10. Diarrhea

United States Most-Searched Symptoms 2012
1. Pregnancy symptoms
2. Diabetes symptoms
3. Flu symptoms
4. UTI symptoms
5. Mono symptoms
6. Strep Throat symptoms
7. HIV symptoms
8. Lupus symptoms
9. Heart Attack symptoms
10. Lyme Disease symptoms