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The ‘Angelina Jolie’ Effect

Celebrities can affect medical screening test decisions.

· Tests for the breast cancer BRCA gene shot up by 64 percent following Jolie’s 2013 New York Times op-ed about her decision to have preventive mastectomy after genetic testing that revealed she carried the disease-fueling mutation.

· Test increases, with each test priced at approximately $3,000, are estimated to have cost the U.S. health care system at least $13.5 million in the two weeks following the disclosure.

· Increased testing rates were not accompanied by a corresponding increase in mastectomy rates, suggesting additional testing did not identify new BRCA mutations.

· The results suggest that most of the women who were compelled to get tested had low risk to begin with and were not in the optimal target population for the testing.

Newswise — Pop culture icons can influence our fashion choices, dietary habits and brand preferences, but can celebrities also influence our medical decisions?

The answer is a resounding yes, according to a new Harvard Medical School study analyzing the rates of genetic testing for breast cancer in the aftermath of Angelina Jolie’s 2013 op-ed piece in The New York Times.

Read full article: The ‘Angelina Jolie’ Effect

Read Full Article: The ‘Angelina Jolie’ Effect

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