Medical Statistics: The Truth Behind The Numbers

5 Questions  I  By Newscientist on February 10, 2011
Test your skills to find the truth behind the healthscare headlines.

  

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1.  You are researching your risk of getting heart disease. In the course of your researches you come across three different statements of your risk. 1. You have a 1 in 7 risk of getting heart disease. 2. Your risk of getting heart disease is about 14 per cent 3. 570 people suffered from heart disease out of 4000 people similar to you in a recent study. Without a calculator, which one of the following statements do you think is true?
A.
B.
C.
D.
2.  A chocoholic friend is horrified by a newspaper headline: "A bar of chocolate a day triples your risk of migraine".  What's the best advice you can give them?
A.
B.
C.
D.
3.  Your newspaper reports that last July the number of cycling accidents also shot up when sales of sunglasses increased by 40 per cent. What is the most rational conclusion?
A.
B.
C.
D.
4.  To test a drug expected to reduce blood pressure by 5mm Hg you need 130 people for a well-designed randomised controlled trial. Suppose you are working on a new drug that should reduce the blood pressure by double the amount, 10mm Hg.  Do you need to test it on:
A.
B.
C.
D.
5.  A study found that out of the 100 people diagnosed with navel cancer in country A in 1995,  20 were dead by 2000, 20 more were dead by 2005, and 20 more were dead by 2010. The 40 people that still alive were declared cured. A similar study in country B showed that of 100 people diagnosed in 1995, 60 were dead within 5 years. On the basis of these figures, which of the following statements can we make (click all that apply)?
A.
B.
C.
D.
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