Health and wellness have long been topics of public interest, but several sources indicate an uptick in health-related online searches in 2023. Analysis of Google’s most searched health questions this year reveals insights into what specific health issues the public is most curious or concerned about.
Top Health Questions Show Increase in Strep, Cholesterol, and Bloating Concerns
According to one analysis of top health searches, some of the most common health questions in 2023 involved surprisingly common conditions like strep throat, high cholesterol, and bloating.
While strep throat is a well-known illness, public interest may reflect concerns over proper testing, treatment, and contagiousness. Searches likely aim to discern when sore throats warrant medical attention and how to avoid transmitting the bacterial infection.
High cholesterol is now a concern even for younger adults, driving many to investigate cholesterol numbers, screening recommendations, dietary approaches, and medication options.
Meanwhile, bloating tied for the 5th top health question, indicating digestive troubles are also widespread. This suggests public uncertainty around the causes, treatments, and prevention of this uncomfortable symptom.
|2023 Top 10 Health Questions
|% Increase in Searches
|What is a strep throat
|What causes high cholesterol
|How to lower cholesterol
|What is a heart attack
|What causes bloating
Breakout indicates a dramatic leap in searches, likely reflecting emerging health concerns.
Underlying Trends May Explain Some Question Areas
Infectious disease experts speculate that recent upticks in strep cases could drive more strep throat queries. Meanwhile, updated cholesterol guidelines likely sparked interest in cholesterol numbers among younger adults.
For bloating, multiple factors could be at play, from increasing recognition of new digestive issues like SIBO to greater awareness of bloating’s connection to conditions like lactose intolerance, IBS, and food sensitivities. The rise in bloating questions warrants further investigation.
Other top health questions like heart attacks and strokes probably reflect ongoing efforts to understand prevention and urgent warning signs. Meanwhile, renewed interest in topics like gout and insulin resistance indicates they are entering mainstream health consciousness.
Focus on Mental Health and Women’s Health Also Evident
Beyond purely physical conditions, top questions also centered on mental health and women’s health. Both perimenopause and pregnancy questions surfaced as common search topics.
The prevalence of queries related to women’s reproductive health highlights public uncertainty around the symptoms, stages, and management of menopause and pregnancy. Enhancing access to quality information in these areas could empower many women.
Searches for the meaning of specific mental health terms also made the top 10 list. Questions like “What is suicidal?” and “What is borderline personality disorder?” indicate efforts to decipher mental health vocabulary and concepts. Destigmatizing and normalizing such inquiries can promote better understanding of mental illness.
Steady Climb in Health Interest Aligns with Preventive Health Trends
The recent rise in online health searches likely reflects growing public recognition of how lifestyle and preventive health impact wellness outcomes. As experts advise, focusing attention on understanding and optimizing modifiable health factors can help people thrive.
The specific health topics attracting public interest represent promising opportunities for health education. Meeting informational needs in these areas empowers people to engage their health more proactively.
As one analysis noted, “The public’s leading questions allow health care professionals and public health communicators to create content that informs patients and the general public about pressing health issues in ways that meet their users where they are.”
While reasons behind the search trends warrant further analysis, the rise in health curiosity importantly signifies growing public recognition of how lifestyle habits, preventive screenings, and proactive health management optimize wellbeing.
Health Misinformation Remains a Challenge Amid Increasing Engagement
However, while increased health engagement offers benefits, it also poses risks in the face of rampant health misinformation online. As more people investigate health topics through self-directed online searches, they risk encountering misleading claims, extreme viewpoints, and questionable advice.
In particular, unmoderated social media channels and conjecture-laden blog posts can easily propagate health myths and fake treatments. Without the scientific rigor and credibility of traditional health journalism, online content raises valid concerns.
For example, false allergy and intolerance claims have fueled unnecessary, restrictive diets. Outrageous cleansing routines and colonics rely on exaggerated toxin rhetoric. And dangerous fad diets promising rapid weight loss still attract followers, despite well-established risks.
The public’s rising health engagement through self-directed online searches calls for parallel efforts to promote health literacy, counter misinformation, and ensure access to high-quality health resources. Meeting informational needs with evidence-based guidance can empower people to make wise health decisions.
Health Trends Projections Suggest Continued Preventive Health Focus
As people head into 2024, expert projections offer hints at what preventive health topics might dominate next year’s health conversations. Based on current trajectory, key health issues to watch include digestive health, women’s health, mental health, and lifestyle medicine.
Specifically, gut microbiome testing could enter the mainstream as research continues linking the digestive system to immunity, inflammation, and even mental health. SIBO, IBS, food sensitivities/allergies, and optimal nutrition will likely stay center stage.
Ongoing uncertainty around women’s health issues like perimenopause means related content and medical guidance will remain in high demand. Likewise, efforts to promote mental health literacy and destigmatize mental illness will hopefully advance.
Most projections highlight accelerating momentum for lifestyle medicine and a preventive approach focused on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and sleep health. As their health implications gain recognition, expect more public attention on these modifiable wellness factors.
|Projected 2024 Health Trends
|Gut microbiome and digestive health
|Rising mainstream interest
|Women’s health education
|High sustained demand
|Mental health literacy
|Continued growth to reduce stigma
|Accelerating as preventive approach
This preventive health emphasis, grounded in lifestyle and informed consumerism, signals an expanding view of health beyond just disease treatment. By recognizing health’s interconnectedness with daily habits and choices, people can partner more actively with providers for optimal wellbeing.
The Public Deserves Accessible, Evidence-Based Health Information
Ultimately, the recent rise in health-related searches suggests a public eagerness to understand health topics relevant to their lives. But it also reveals critical gaps in health comprehension.
Accessible health education that meets learners where they are can help fill these informational voids with nuanced, evidence-based guidance. Providing such reliable resources allows people to harness health information as a tool for empowerment rather than a source of apprehension.
Through credible health journalism, plain-language medical literature, and compassionate provider-patient conversations, everyone can obtain the insights needed to make wise health decisions. With sound information, people gain confidence navigating the ever-evolving health landscape.
The public’s leading health questions blaze a trail that health communicators should follow, translating complex topics into actionable knowledge that equips us all to understand and care for ourselves a little better. Because comprehending health is key to living life fully.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.