Search Results for "absolute"
Bravo, New York Times, for using absolute risk reduction numbers in story on fish oil for asthma
This story did a lot of things well. The main shortcoming is the story’s failure to disclose relevant conflicts of interest.
Taking Fish Oil During Pregnancy Is Found to Lower Child’s Asthma Risk
Optimism and longevity: Absolute rates of death risk would have improved CBS story
The story also missed an important discussion about how much the results could stem from having good health–that perhaps this causes the optimism, and not vice versa.
How optimism may help you live longer
Once again, NIH release on blood pressure targets lacks info on absolute benefits, potential harms
This quick summary of results from a large study missed an opportunity to help clarify the best way to manage high blood pressure in the elderly.
NIH study confirms benefits of intensive blood pressure management among seniors aged 75 and older
Are we absolutely or relatively sure that increasing dietary fiber reduces breast cancer risk?
This observational study on high dietary fiber intake and reduced breast cancer risk is interesting, but key omissions in the news release set the stage for misleading news coverage about the study.
Higher dietary fiber intake in young women may reduce breast cancer risk
Informed patients need one thing not provided in SPRINT trial news: what were the absolute benefit/harm numbers?
On November 9th, the New England Journal of Medicine published SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) comparing “intensive” blood pressure lowering (targeting <120 mm HG systolic) against standard therapy, (<140 mm HG) and came to pretty definitive conclusions: “SPRINT now provides evidence of benefits for an even lower systolic blood-pressure target than that currently recommended […]
Antidepressants in pregnancy: absolute rates of harm would have improved risk message
The story about antidepressants in pregnancy could have done a better job of explaining the FDA’s “six-fold increase” in risk to newborns and showing the actual rates observed in the new study.
Antidepressants in pregnancy pose little risk to babies, study finds
Absolute versus relative risk – hyping the obesity decline statistics
On Slate.com, Razib Khan wrote, “The Obesity Rate for Children Has Not Plummeted: Despite what the New York Times tells you. The Times wasn’t alone in hyping “Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade,” reporting on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dozens and dozens of stories […]7/10/2012
Epidemiologists call them “absolute risks”; you and I might call them the real numbers
In a recent Huffington Post blog post, Dartmouth’s Gil Welch addressed an old, pet theme of ours, “The Problem is Relative.” Excerpt: Numerous studies have shown that the general public has exaggerated perceptions of the health risks they face — as well as exaggerated expectations of the benefit of medical care. Is it because they’re […]7
Reporting the findings: Absolute vs relative risk
Why you should always use absolute risk numbers: “New drug cuts heart attack risk in half.” Sounds like a great drug, huh? Yet it sounds significantly less great when you realize we’re actually talking about a 2% risk dropping to a 1% risk. The risk halved, but in a far less impressive fashion. That’s why […]3/18/2011
Guest post: Absolute risk not as straightforward as you might think
This is a guest post by Frederik Joelving, a staff writer at Reuters Health. Absolute risk is one of the biggest buzzwords in health reporting today, and for good reasons. It’s frightening to hear that hormone replacement therapy doubles your risk of suffering a blood clot in your lungs, for instance (the relative risk). But […]12/21/2010
Risk comm guru Gigerenzer argues that absolute risk communication is a moral issue
Professor Gerd Gigerenzer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin is one of the world’s leaders in risk communication. He teaches doctors, policy-makers, journalists and the general public. He has written before about how misleading communication of risk is a moral issue for medical journals, for journalists, for researchers, and for anyone […]3/30/2009
Please, PLEASE use absolute risk data
Based on my reading of a New York Times story in my local Star Tribune today, I was ready to blast the Times. I was reading the story out of the American College of Cardiology meeting on the new data suggesting that statins can reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism. By how much can statins […]12/18/2006
Absolute vs. relative risk: an overlooked statistic
I teach my classes – even undergrads – that if I could change just one thing about the way in which research news is communicated to the public – for the sake of public understanding – it would be to include absolute risk/benefit data in each story or each message – not just relative risk/benefit […]12/21/2004
Journalists (and scientists) should use absolute risks
Stories like today’s about naproxen causing “a 50 percent greater risk of heart attacks and stroke than placebo” can be meaningless if they don’t provide the ABSOLUTE risk. The 50% figure is the relative risk — naproxen’s rate relative to placebo. But we’re not told the ABSOLUTE rate: how many people actually had heart attacks […]1
We are in a crisis of crap health news — this week’s reporting shows why
I can’t remember a week that has featured so much useless reporting about studies that are meaningless to the average reader. All the stories featured clickbait-y diet topics like alcohol, chocolate, coffee, and fiber. All were based on observational studies that can only show associations, not cause-and-effect, and which are prone to drawing conclusions that […]