Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Short Course in Epidemiology

Once again, Sandy Szwarc undertakes to explain the science of epidemiology, and why so much of what is reported as news really turns out to be noise. Junkfood Science: Math phobia — Is that evidence for real?:

"Most worries among the public would already be assuaged if more people simply understood that relative risks less than 3 (200%) have long been recognized as untenable. Just imagine how many popular fears and health agendas would disintegrate in an instant if the public realized that relative risks less than 10 — that’s 10-fold or 900% as high — with p-values >0.01 are often not real, tenable and are generally explained by confounding factors."

Happy Birthday, Junkfood Science!