But only 5 per cent used email to communicate with their doctors, the survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found.
Researcher at the center used a survey of 7,192 adults aged 18 to 64 questioned between January and June 2009.
“From January through June 2009, 51 per cent of adults aged 18-64 had used the Internet to look up health information during the past 12 months,” the center, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.
“Among adults aged 18-64, women were more likely than men to look up health information on the Internet (58 per cent versus 43 per cent) and were also more likely to use online chat groups to learn about health topics (4 per cent versus 2.5 per cent).”
The survey found 6 per cent of adults requested a refill of a prescription on the Internet, and almost 3 per cent had made an appointment with a healthcare provider in the previous 12 months using the Internet.
Other researchers have found doctors are reluctant to use the Internet or email to communicate with patients because of concerns about privacy as well as confusion about how to charge for their time.