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Exposure to sneezes may provokehealth anxiety

Category: General Health

Tales have been told of people suffering a stroke simply by stifling a sneeze; while these accounts may be fictional, new research has shown that being around a sneezing person commonly increases a person's fear of contracting the flu and suffering a heart attack at an early age.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that people exposed to a sneezing actor were three times more likely than a control group to favor government spending of $1.3 billion on the development of a flu vaccine, instead of on the creation of "green" jobs.

The research team gave 50 college students a questionnaire about the risks of certain health issues. Just before filling out the survey, an actor, sneezing and coughing, passed by 26 of the students.

Students in the "sneeze group" were about 15 percent more likely to believe that the average American would contract a serious illness in their lifetime, and 13 percent more likely to fear a fatal heart attack before age 50.

The study's co-author Norbert Schwarz told the news source, "Maybe a congressman looking for healthcare support should sneeze a lot."

In reality about 1.26 million new and recurrent coronary attacks occur each year, according to the American Heart Association. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute suggests EKGs, blood testing or coronary angiographies to screen for heart problems.

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