The sciences of statistics and systematic analysis applied to the causes of health and disease.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
0answers
158 views

Is the 2014 Ebola outbreak an issue of “national security”? If not contained, is it going to spread around the world? [closed]

I just read an article from Time where President Obama has called containing Ebola a "national-security priority". Near the end of the article, he claims: "If we don’t make that effort now... then it ...
13
votes
0answers
237 views

Do societies that are less abstemious have more sensible drinking patterns?

Questions about whether alcohol consumption is good for you or not have been asked here before (see Is alcohol beneficial in small amounts? and Recommended alcohol drinking quantity: are they just ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Are medics often incapable of understanding or communicating statistical results to their patients?

A recent news article on the BBC summarises work of Gerd Gigerenzer that argues (my emphasis): ...it's not just that doctors and dentists can't reel off the relevant stats for every treatment ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Do 50% of prostitutes have HIV?

The Prostitution Statistics You Have to Know claims that: 50% of prostitutes throughout the world have contracted the HIV virus (For this statistic it references this BBC news article: The men ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Does the CDC over-report annual flu deaths in the U.S.?

This blog post claims that the CDC over-reports annual flu deaths in the U.S. by 1000x or more, in an effort to sell flu vaccinations. Yet, their own numbers show 500 deaths in 2010, not 36,000. ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Does treating people with mild hypertension improve their outcomes?

There is a reasonably strong relationship between high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular events such s strokes and heart attacks. As a result, conventional wisdom (as expressed here by ...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

Can oral sex cause throat cancer?

(somebody had to ask this) Micheal Douglas, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, said in a recent interview with the Guardian: Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and ...
7
votes
4answers
342 views

Do workplace smoking bans reduce the number of heart attacks?

There is a lively debate on the health impact of passive smoking (other questions on skeptics.se are here Does passive smoking kill 600,000 people every year? and here Is secondhand smoke dangerous?). ...
6
votes
1answer
285 views

Do solar cycles influence life expectancy?

In a paper describing the effects of radiation on the human genome at peaks of solar cycles it is claimed: Those born in peaks of solar cycles lived an average of 1.5 years (CL 1.3-1.7) less than ...
7
votes
1answer
328 views

Will 25% of people in Western society develop a mental disorder during their life?

In a profile article published in the Cyprus Mail newspaper (Nov. 2012), Dr John Stein, Emeritus Professor of Physiology & Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, claimed: “a quarter of people ...
12
votes
2answers
378 views

Does passive smoking kill 600,000 people every year?

While reading David Nutt's book on the harms caused by legal and illegal drugs and how to minimise them (Drugs without the hot air), I came across a claim which reminded me of some previous questions ...
3
votes
0answers
138 views

Did the WHO study show a significant RR of lung cancer, and not a preventative effect?

The WHO released a press release with preliminary finds to the media. After examining the preliminary study, the Telegraph, the Guardian and other newspapers printed articles with headlines like, ...
3
votes
0answers
190 views

Are plastics making us fat and giving us diabetes?

A recent widely reported news story (example report from the Independent) suggested that one explanation for the modern rise in obesity was not too much food or two little exercise but many of ...
8
votes
1answer
318 views

Is red meat responsible for one in ten early deaths?

The red meat and cancer link has already been addressed here: Does eating meat increase your risk for cancer? But recent reports suggest a broader more worrying relationship to variety of other ...
9
votes
2answers
856 views

Are political leaders from Latin America unusually prone to cancer?

Venezuela's entertaining president, Hugo Chavez, was recently reported to have speculated that the USA has developed a secret technology to give cancer to left-wing leaders in Latin America. I think ...
11
votes
2answers
636 views

Is there an epidemic of cancer?

It is nearly 50 years since Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was published where she popularised a belief that we are all being poisoned by artificial chemicals. For the first time in the history of ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Does eating meat increase your risk for cancer?

I just read an article in the german magazine "Der Spiegel" about a recent study claiming that 40% of all cancers are preventable. The article states specifically that one of the factors is the ...
13
votes
2answers
579 views

Are most published results relying on measures of statistical significance likely to be false?

This article, linked to by Glen, claims most published results are false. The argument is based on an analysis of how papers relying on statistical significance analyse and report their statistical ...