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Illnesses that Australians most feared in 1986 and 1993

, : Illnesses that Australians most feared in 1986 and 1993. Australian Journal of Public Health 18(4): 366-369

This study identified illnesses Australians most feared getting, and determined whether there had been any changes between 1986 and 1993. An open-ended question about illnesses was embedded in an omnibus face-to-face survey of representative samples of Australians (1986, n = 1213; 1993, n = 1268). Cancer was by far the most feared illness, with over 60 per cent of first mentions and around 80 per cent of first or second mentions. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and heart disease were the only other illnesses mentioned by more than 10 per cent of the sample as the first or second most feared illness. There were no differences across time in first mentions of these illnesses, but cancer had more mentions overall in 1993. Concern about cancer may have increased over the seven years. Mentions of dementia and blindness also increased across the two surveys.


PMID: 7718649

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