HEALTH RISKS: Public Overestimates, Says New Poll
The public tends to greatly overestimate their chances of being hurt in various types of accidents and developing many diseases, according to a new Harris Poll. Disease and accident risks which the public overestimates are:
- Prostate/Breast Cancer: The public perceives a greater than 40% chance for each, whereas the actual rate is about 10%.
- Lung Cancer: The public estimates a 35% chance, while the real chances are less than 20%.
- Diabetes: The public perceives a 37% chance, compared to a realistic estimate of less than 20%.
- Stroke: The public feels they have a 45% chance of stroke, compared to an actual occurrence of about 20%.
- Heart Attack: Men only slightly overestimated their chances at 50% (versus an actual 40%), but women's estimate of 50% was far above the reality of 10%.
- HIV/AIDS: The public pegged its chances of developing HIV/AIDS at about 10%, higher than the realistic estimated risk of less than 5%.
- Serious injury in a car accident: Again, the public estimates an almost 50% chance of this, but their actual risk is only 5%.