Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 26

Getting REAL

The National Safety Council, a nonprofit
group that benchmarks odds of injury
and death, says you're more likely to die
in a vehicle crash than in a plane, train or
bus crash. (In case you're wondering, the
odds of dying in an "air and space transport incident" are 1 in 9,737, while for a
motor vehicle crash they are 1 in 113.)
Ever worry about being struck by
lightning? Extremely rare. In fact, your
odds of dying from a strike are 1 in
174,426. That means you are more likely
to die in a legal execution (1 in 111,439).

26

FA L L 2017

Pandemic diseases are often perceived
as real risks. It's something Siegel has
written about extensively. If you travel
to South America, aren't you at risk of
Zika, for example? What about avian flu?
Ebola?
The risk of contracting one of those
diseases feels very real because they're so
frightening. But Siegel and other experts
say those aren't high on the list of risks
that immediately affect Americans.
(There are exceptions. Medical experts
say pregnant women shouldn't travel
to areas with known Zika outbreaks.)
You know what is high on the list?
Heart disease and cancer, which the

safety council says carry a 1 in 7 risk of
death and are No. 1 on the council's list
of things that Americans are most likely
to die from. Chronic lower respiratory
disease and intentional self-harm are
No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. They're
followed by unintentional poisoning, a
car crash, a fall and assault by firearm.
"Sometimes it's a question of what
you are more afraid of-for example, the
measles versus the vaccine to prevent
it. Measles is a highly contagious killer,
and yet many parents are more afraid
of the lifesaving, safe vaccine," Siegel
says, because of well-publicized but
false information about a link between
vaccines and autism.
Researchers acknowledge that this
idea of being informed about real, and
not perceived, risks is not always easy.
Interpreting numbers and probability
is difficult for many people. And that
can make it harder to put into context things like the odds of dying in
a lightning strike.
"The information that comes at
us is often very difficult numeric
information about uncertainties
and outcomes. Probabilities, monetary outcomes, number of lives
at risk," says Ellen Peters,
PhD, a fellow of the American
Psychological Association who
studies human judgment and
decision making.
"People who are less numerate
tend to perceive more risk than
the highly numerate," she says. The
science on this shows us that when
people who understand numbers well
are faced with a risk, they use what they
know. "It competes against their fear."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 4
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 5
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover4
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