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Private medical cover provider warns of dangers of online self-diagnosis

Published on 07/01/2011
A leading private medical cover provider has warned that checking symptoms on the internet can lead to unnecessary worry for patients.

According to Bupa's Health Pulse survey, 73 per cent of Britons go online for health information and over half (58 per cent) self diagnose.

However, only a quarter said they check where online advice has come from to ensure it is a reliable source.

The health insurance firm warned that this can often lead to people thinking they have a much more serious condition than they actually do.

Dr Annabel Bentley, medical director, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, said: "Unreliable information about health online is a real worry.

"Understandably people feel the 'fear factor' when searching for health online as most symptoms can be a possible sign of serious illnesses such as cancer.

"Relying on dodgy information can easily lead to people taking risks with inappropriate tests and treatments, wasting money and causing unnecessary worry."

She added that, equally, people's online checks may lead them to dismiss serious symptoms when they should get advice from a doctor.

Bupa recently won the Plain English Campaign's web award for online clarity for its website 
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

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Private medical cover provider warns of dangers of online self-diagnosisA leading private medical cover provider has warned that checking symptoms on the internet can lead to unnecessary worry for patients.Accord    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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