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Twitter data used to track vaccination rates and attitudes
Date:10/13/2011

enced diseases as infectious, as well," Salath said. "Lifestyle choices might be 'picked up' in much the same way that pathogens -- viruses or bacteria -- are acquired. The difference is simply that in the one instance the infectious agent is an idea rather than a biological entity."

Salath added that, in the industrialized world, future generations will worry less about infectious diseases and more about diseases linked to lifestyle and behavior. "Behavior-influenced diseases always have existed, but, until recently, they were masked: People died of infectious diseases relatively early in their life cycles. So behavior-influenced diseases weren't really on anyone's radar," Salath explained. "Now that heart disease -- a malady caused, at least in part, by lifestyle -- is moving to the top of the list of killers, it might be wise to focus on how social media influences behaviors such as poor diet and infrequent exercise," Salath said.


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Contact: Barbara Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

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