Celebrities Can Affect Our Medical Decisions, Angelina Jolie Breast-cancer Testing Study Shows

Celebrities Can Affect Our Medical Decisions, Angelina Jolie Breast-cancer Testing Study Shows
Celebrities can not only influence our fashion and diets but also our medical decisions, according to a study that analyzed breast cancer gene testing rates after Angelina Jolie did an opinion piece advocating testing in 2013. The study, led by Harvard Medical School Researchers, was published in the British Medical Journal.“ It was titled "Do celebrity endorsements matter? Observational study of BRCA gene testing and mastectomy rates after Angelina Jolie’s New York Times editorial.” After Jolie’s op-ed in The New York Times, there was a spike in testing for the BRCA gene, which increases the risk of breast cancer. The spike did not lead to an increase in breast-cancer surgery rates, however. A possible interpretation is that the BRCA tests failed to increase breast cancer diagnoses, most likely because those who tested were at low risk of BRCA mutations to begin with. Researchers considered this a good example of how celebrity endorsements can fuel the use of health care services, but not necessarily among those most in need of the services. “Our findings underscore celebrity endorsements as a powerful influence on health-related behaviors, but they also show that such endorsements do not necessarily target those most at risk for developing a disease,” Sunita Desai, a Seidman Fellow and researcher in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard, said in a press release. Jolie
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.