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Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Magnetic Poles, Apr 25, 2009.
Including this one.
Well, 82% of the time, anyway.
For the other 22% of the time, it's more like about 46 precen... :laugh: :laugh:
"Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical." - Yogi Berra
I have anecdotally heard that Eisenhower was appalled to learn that half of all
Americans are below average intelligence.
:laugh: But what if the intelligence standard were world-wide instead of just in the United States?
I am about to finnish a statistics class.
What have I learned?
Give the data to a statistician and thay can make it support just about anything you want.
As stated by Disraeli and Mark Twain, there are lies, d**n lies, and statistics.
I have often wondered about polls & stuff that you see in the newspapers & on TV. Especially on the NBC News. Whenever there is a poll taken, they leave out some vital information. Just to give you an example: They might ask a question on homosexual marriage. Do you agree or disagree? They might give you figures where they say that:
Anytime you are doing a poll, the percentages ALWAYS HAVE TO ADD UP TO 100%. When you add 46, 45, & 6 together that only comes to 97%.
Secondly, they never break down the total number of people that were involved in the poll. When 45% stated they disagree, my question is 45% of how many people stated they disagree?
I have noticed this especially during the presidential elections.
I have also heard of people who polled who do not wish to take part in a poll being listed as undecided. However, I don't know if that is entirely true or not.
For the sake of education regarding the use of statistics.......
.............and your health:
Often times when I've read medical and professional journals, I've noticed similar presentation of statistical data ....... but not as clearly stated as in this article which is a health reporter/journalist/researcher who has taken the time to digest the statistics and present them with clarity.
Unfortunately, if any of you ever get curious and decide to read the detailed and highly convoluted data concerning drug studies, associated benefits and side effects, you will find the data rather conflicting and presenting a rather confusing pattern......unless you're dedicated enough to read and then reread, carefully disecting each paragraph and sometimes each line as to when its referring to one step and when its referring to another point.
I would suggest that a visit to a university library and choosing a medical journal with a report in it which concerns a particular treatment for a physical ailment which is of interest to you..... and read the article. Frequently I have found that the conclusions or summary at the end of the article is often a bit biased..... often more favorable to one side than the conclusion which I would come to based upon the data contained therein. I have presented and pointed out the conflicts before to others who have professional experience and relie on these journals, with the question ......was I wrong in my interpretation...... and when the evidence was pointed out on which I based my difference..... they agreed they were misled by the concluding or summary remarks.
Physicians are very busy people and rely on the journals to present the latest studies on new and recent drugs and treatments..... but often they haven't the time to carefully disect an article and often rely on the pharmaceutical agent which visits the office to present briefs, and samples, and peer reviews of new treatments.
A quick read of this statement implies that prevention of heart attacks is dependant on drug compliance so one mentally processes that statin drug compliance should be stressed. It, however, doesn't present the percentage of prescribed use vs the sub set of non-compliance nor the risk of the population to which statin drugs are prescribed vs a control group of similar demographics receiving no treatment. Also, if one isn't careful, a quick read of this statement seems to exaggerate the risk of HA and the benefit of preventive treatment.
That being as it may...... Here's the recommendation by the NIH, (a reputable research organization ......highly regarded by professionals)
by the jargon 'the threshold is lowered' from 1in 5 to 1 in 10 ? Actually it is saying that the group is larger by including more people at lower risk: If before the doctor was only treating those with a 20% risk of HA (heart attack) in the next 10 years..... he is now encouraged to include treatment for those who only have a 10% risk of HA in 10 years...... thus the 'threshold is lowered' for beginning preventive treatment for HA targeted at control of cholesterol and the numbers of people included in treatment is increased.
Now, how do we think critically to evaluate? What are the statistics of HA occurring within the demographics of this risk assessment? (control group without treatment) compared to a group receiving preventive treatment based on the same risk assessment? The first figure gives us a near objective rate at which HAs may be expected to occur for the overall group, and the second gives us the rate at which HAs occurred in the treated group.
Now this is where I differ with the author of this article because it appears he includes 100% of healthy people regardless of risks assessment (which is the determining factor for preventive treatment.... which the article already admits and is previously discussed here). Nevertheless..... assumming that those receiving prophylactic treatment to prevent HAs, are at 10% or above in risks..... still the 47% reduction of HAs means that of evry 100 people of determined risks, the likelihood for HA ranges between 10 to 20% or less..... with the statin drug considered effective for preventing slightly less than half (47%).
Now we have something to consider: If a person is in good health, but 50 yrs or older and has an assessed risks which puts him at or higher than a 1 in 10 chance of a heart attack in the next 10 years, and goes on statin drugs..... his risks of having a HA was originally about 10%, but now is reduced by 47% for taking the statin which means he still has a 5% chance of having a HA in the next 10 years....... So of 100 patients treated which share the same risks.... 10 (aprox) of 100 might have HA in the next 10 yrs w/o treatment while 5 (aprox) might have HA of 100 receiving treatment.
Now before considering whether this is for you..... if a patient is in a 'healthy but high risk group' it is up to the patient to inquire of the doctor just what is his risks of having a HA in the next 10 years and........ the patient should inquire and consider what are the frequency of occurrance and seriousness of side effects of taking the medication over that same period of time... and is the benefit of 47% of reducing his already relatively low risks are worth the risk, cost and benefits of going on medication.
THE ARTICLE FROM WHICH I TOOK THE QUOTES IS HERE (not trying to sale anything)
Pesuasive investigations and news, stop short with the story while statistics are favorable:
Another report on statins:
When "professional" or "expert" opinion is so variable.... what makes us to think that opinion polls regarding politics, policy, concerns and publics priorities are honestly reported (maybe honest... but we often opt to be influenced quickly)..... and why do we believe most anything we hear and more of what we read rather than keep a healthy and questioning skepticism? Could it be that it isn't that we've forgotten to think and ask questions...... but that our busy lives are too busy with higher and personal priorities over the time it takes to do research. (Frankly.... I know that though I may research several sites.... the one I'm most likely to post is what speaks the clearest on the position I'm trying to present... not necessarily the most expert or reliable source (which may be complicated in its presentation).
I've been told that 4 people out of 3 don't even understand statistics.
I cannot vouch for the veracity of that claim, but it sounds just about right to me.
What is a statistic?
w/o consulting a dictionary
A statistic is supposed to be an objective measurement of comparable data.
It often serves the pruposes of proving significant effectiveness as in medicine.... the response to medication based upon measurable tests, symptoms, signs..... or in engineering (or amalgam fillings) ....the differnces between strength, malability, brittlenes when metals such as silver mercury are combine and associated presence or absence of other metals such as copper..... or studies by which decisions and choices are made. IOW, statistics are supposed to be a scientific way of measuring the odds, or the advantage of one comparison under given condition over another.
If watering my lawn thouroughly every 2 weeks, gives me a lawn greener and healthier with less thatch over my neighbor's when he waters his every third day..... all other conditions being the same.... soil, cutting regimen and time of day, and additives such as fertilizer and amount of total water.... and mine is statistically healthier by 30% over measurement criteria than yours..... then you may determine to cut back on the frequency of your watering your lawn. If yours is statistically better than mine.... then I need to take lessons from you...... But the criteria by which the lawns health is measured.... is determined by factors determined important by the investigators and it is conceiable that not all measures of health may be included in the criteria..... some of which may be more important than others actually measured.
Good statistical data is supposed to measure what it says it does, and be independantly repeatable by others doing the same experiment or tests or poll. The more independant surveys are done or experiments performed with results and measurements closely in agreement with previous measures, the more reliable the data is considered to be.... because it is 'duplicated'. To the extent all the relative criteria which are relative either in breath or narrowness of defining the measurements necessary for proving the experiment determines whether it is valid.
Or at least this is to the best of my understanding.
IOW, statistics can often be a real pain.
It is unfortunate that modern medicine seems to be totally concerned with treating conditions...... not curing them.
Curing physical conditions requires knowing the cellular and moleculare initiates of disease and recognizing these 'markers' and figuring out if and how imbalances can be corrected to stop or prevent the progression of pathogenesis or pathophysiology within the body. God put the healing in the body. Man is just not smart enough to figure it out. This, however doesn't negate the fact that degeneration of the whole body occurs as processes of varying rates in organ systems making up the total organism as a process of aging and gradual loss of regenerative powers.
What is a dictionary :laugh: :smilewinkgrin: :laugh:
I'm trying to get noticed so I can take over Jay Lenos job!:wavey: