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Dermatology Online Journal

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Comparing burden of dermatologic disease to search interest on google trends


Google Trends is a publicly available resource for comparing Internet search query frequency and trends interest in queries over time. The tool provides country, region, and city-specific data for term search volume on Google Search. Our study sought to compare the relative search interest to the burden of disease for the fifteen skin conditions studied by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 project. Searches on Google Trends were conducted by using the most inclusive terms and true ICD code definitions as possible for the skin conditions studied. We report that relative interest on Google Trends did largely correlate to burden of disease reported by the GBD 2010 study, though some conditions were either underrepresented or overrepresented. Acne and herpes were the most Googled skin disease terms. This study provides further insight into what may be the most burdensome skin diseases because those with more burdensome diseases likely sought out information on their condition.

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