The Construction of Health Risk and the Demand for Disease Prevention, 1945-2000

Award Year:
Robert Aronowitz
History of Medicine and Health Care, Disease Prevention
While many newly defined health risks have elicited major societal and biomedical responses such as screening tests and risk-reducing drugs, others have not. Dr. Aronowitz examines how values and interests of various stakeholders influence how we recognize, name, define, and respond to health risks. His project traces the history of these risks in the U.S. since World War II and seeks to explain how they have been discovered, promoted, and made the object of prevention practices. Case studies on cancer cluster investigations, in situ cancers, Lyme disease vaccines, lung cancer screening, and the association between homocysteine and coronary heart disease will be compiled. Findings should inform and provoke societal debate over new ways to better manage research on health risks as well as the demand for interventions to reduce them.