Fear of Terrorism Can Kill You …
Fear of terrorism can kill you:
A new study has found that long-term exposure to the threat of terrorism can elevate people’s resting heart rates and increase their risk of dying.
The study of more than 17,000 Israelis is the first statistics-based study, and the largest of its kind, that indicates that fear induced by consistent exposure to the threat of terrorism can lead to negative health consequences and increase the risk of mortality, according to researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The scientists explain:
“We found that fear of terrorism and existential anxiety may disrupt the control processes using acetylcholine, causing a chronic accelerated heart rate,” Soreq wrote in the press release. “Together with inflammation, these changes are associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”
(In a 2004 study, Israeli scientists found that fear of terror increases inflammation.)
Swiss scientists also found that fear of terror damages the health of our hearts.
Because heart disease is a much bigger killer than terrorism, it is a bigger risk to our health.
Risk of Terrorism Is Low
We’ve extensively documented that the actual risk of terrorism is extremely low … even with ISIS and Al Qaeda.
For example, you’re much more likely to be killed by deer, cows, dogs, brain-eating parasites, toddlers, lightning, falling out of bed, alcoholism, food poisoning, choking on your meal, a financial crash, obesity, medical errors or “autoerotic asphyxiation” than by terrorists.
But what about weapons of mass destruction?
The Washington Post reports:
In the months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, millions of Americans elected not to fly. A significant proportion decided to drive to their destinations instead. Driving is more dangerous than flying. And so one scholar of risk, Gerd Gigerenzer, calculated that more people died from the resulting automobile accidents than the total number of individuals who were killed aboard the four hijacked planes [on] Sept. 11.
But what about dirty bombs … bombs that disperse radioactive material?
Again, experts say that the risk of death from a dirty bomb is insignificant … but the risk of death from panicking after a dirty bomb is set off is high (see 43:47 through 45:54 in video):
DR THEODORE ROCKWELL , NUCLEAR SCIENTIST AND RADIATION RISK EXPERT : The deaths would be few, if any, and the answer is, probably none.
INTERVIEWER : Really?
ROCKWELL : Yes. And that’s been said over and over again, but then people immediately say after that, “But, you know, people won’t believe that, and they’ll panic.” And then all the people working on this project, you know, the defense and so forth, breathe a big sigh of relief because they got their problem back: you know, we’re gonna all panic. I don’t think it would kill anybody and I think you’ll have trouble finding a serious report that would claim otherwise. The Department of Energy actually set up such a test and they actually measured what happened. And they—they—the measurements were extremely low. They calculated that the most exposed individual would get a fairly high dose—not life-threatening, but fairly high—and I checked into how the calculation was done, and they assume that after the attack, no one moves for one year. One year. Now, that’s ridiculous.
LEWIS Z. KOCH, BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS : The dirty bomb—the danger from radioactivity is basically next to nothing. The danger from panic, however, is horrendous. That’s where the irony comes. This—instead of the government saying, “Look, this is not a serious weapon; the serious danger of this is the panic that would ensue, and there is no reason for panic. Don’t panic.”
Bottom line: Fear of terrorism is a lot more dangerous than terrorism.
Postscript: This isn't to say that stopping terrorism isn't important. It's crucial. Here's how to stop it ...