Fixating on risky gum health is just a way to shred the NHS | Zoe Williams

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 15:00 in Health & Medicine

Characterising disease as a lifestyle outcome is an ideological push against the idea of shared responsiblity for our healthGum disease is now a good indicator of cancer, apparently, increasing your chances of premature death by 80%. I am obsessed with gums because mine are so terrible, and mine are so terrible because I used to smoke so much that there were years of my life when I couldn't have smoked more without cutting back on sleep. That smoking causes cancer, as an undisputed fact, doesn't seem to bother me; anxiety lurks in the grey areas, the uncertainties, the omens, the what-if-this-means-that?But what if this doesn't mean that? The Swedish research team behind this report admitted – and so openly that even the Daily Mail had to mention it – that they had not shown any causal link between gum disease and premature death from cancer, merely a correlation. Maybe a failure to...

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