According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.  In 2005, 652,091 people died of heart disease.  Moreover, approximately 37% of adults reported having two or more of six risk factors for heart disease and stroke (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, current smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity).

So to summarize: a lot of people take no steps to prevent THE most statistically probable cause of death.  If they would stop smoking, exercise, and eat healthy then they would put a huge dent in a good portion of the risk list and possibly save their own lives.

But…

They will wash their hands religiously and talk non-stop about how to prevent the spread of Swine flu.  About 150 people in Mexico have died of Swine flu.  In the US, 66 cases of the pig bug have been reported along with one fatality.

It seems like people are more afraid of the uncontrollable than they are of the actual risks.  I know that if I take horrible care of my body, then I might get a heart attack.  But I control that risk to some degree.  Becoming ill from a virus is random and less controlled.  It stirs up more fear and gets better ratings on the news.

And sometimes fear leads people to take extreme actions with more negative consequences than the initial feared problem itself.