Heart disease might be the leading cause of death in the United States, but, according to a recent report, it’s also one of the least searched-for diseases on the internet.
Life insurance company TermLife2Go recently compiled a map of the most Googled diseases in each state in the U.S., using Google Trends to analyze each disease term and rank them according to their search popularity in individual states. Though many physicians advise against consulting “Dr. Google” for medical information, a recent study found as many as 60% of Americans turn to the search engine before they call their own doctor.
The majority of states in the TermLife2Go report were concerned with similar conditions—Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan all Googled the sexually transmitted infection HPV most, while Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oregon were more concerned with AIDS. Other diseases heavily Googled by multiple states were rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, lupus, cancer and colitis.
Although heart disease remains the No. 1 killer in the U.S., it didn’t show up much in residents’ Google searches. On the map it made an appearance only in Maine, where it tied with the ebola virus and lyme disease as the state’s most-Googled disease.
Diabetes, on the other hand, was the second-most-Googled condition in the whole of the U.S. and the most-Googled in New Mexico, Hawaii, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana. Stroke was the most-Googled disease in Alaska and West Virginia, and pulmonary hypertension took the cake in Wyoming.
Find the full report online here.