Angelina Jolie effect
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
ONCOLOGY, PUBLIC HEALTH
Definition A coinage by Time magazine, for the uptick in women getting tested for the BRCA1 gene mutation, which markedly increases a woman’s future risk of breast and ovarian cancer, on the heels of actress Angelina Jolie’s public announcement of having been BRCA1 tested, found to carry the mutation and voluntarily undergoing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.
Comment The Angelina Jolie effect reflects the power that celebrities wield in raising public awareness of a particular health issue. The effect differs little from the Kylie (Minogue) effect—which prompted women to go to their doctors for clinical assessment of small lumps in their breasts (Minogue, a popular Aussie songstress was diagnosed with breast cancer at the early age of 36), or the Jade Goody effect—which prompted women to go their gynaecologists for assessment of their cervical cytology (Goody was a British reality TV star who was diagnosed of advanced cervical cancer in mid-2008 and died therefrom in early 2009).
Synonym Celebrity disease effect