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Showing posts from February, 2014

Women's health: Cancer, Heart Disease and Misfearing

This blog is based largely on a recent paper in the Perspective series of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by US cardiologist Lisa Rosenbaum, entitled:” ‘Misfearing’ – Culture, Identity and Our Perceptions of Health Risks”[1]. First let me explain the term “misfearing”.It is characterised by two attributes. It describes the widespread human tendency to base fear on emotive reasons and not on fact. It is also characterised by fear of dreadful events, which catch headlines and which are quite often rare (plane crashes, nuclear accidents, severe weather, HIV-AIDS etc.) rather than by fear of the familiar such as heart disease, obesity, smoking which are common and which occupy a great % of the health budget. Rosenbaum discusses this concept of misfear in relation to women’s health and specifically female cancer and female heart disease.
The majority of women would say that breast cancer is a bigger threat to women’s health than heart disease. However, the facts are the reve…