E Means Educated… and Extreme

Roughly 50 million Americans now log on to the Internet for health updates, with women outnumbering men among information seekers, according to the latest research by Consumer
Health Sciences (CHS), a firm specializing in pharmaceutical and disease-specific databases. Web users tend to be more proactive healthcare consumers than non-Web users - that is,
they are more likely to ask a doctor for a prescription medication and are more apt to question physician diagnoses - and are generally higher educated, with higher income
brackets. Proving that offline behavior patterns tend to migrate online, however, the Web has fueled a new trend in "cyberchondriacs," notes CHS president Jane A. Donohue. The
Internet offers a boundless supply of health information - which provides ample fodder to fuel the fears of the health-obsessed.