Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

Front Cover
University of California Press, Nov 30, 2008 - Medical - 158 pages
1 Review
Every day we are bombarded by television ads, public service announcements, and media reports warning of dire risks to our health and offering solutions to help us lower those risks. But many of these messages are incomplete, misleading, or exaggerated, leaving the average person misinformed and confused. Know Your Chances is a lively, accessible, and carefully researched book that can help consumers sort through this daily barrage by teaching them how to interpret the numbers behind the messages. In clear and simple steps, the authors—all of them staff physicians at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont—take the mystery out of medical statistics. By learning to understand the medical statistics and knowing what questions to ask, readers will be able to see through the hype and find out what—if any—credible information remains. The book's easy-to-understand charts will help ordinary people put their health concerns into perspective.This short, reader-friendly volume will foster communication between patients and doctors and provide the basic critical-thinking skills necessary for navigating today's confusing health landscape.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jeannine504 - LibraryThing

Subtitled "Understanding Health Statistics",this book explains the difference between relative risk and absolute risk in a way that almost anyone can understand. It also gives you a list of questions ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cataloger623 - LibraryThing

142 pages indexed. This a book worth buying. Clearly written using simple math. "The goal of this book is to help understand health information by teaching you how to understand the medical statistics ... Read full review

Contents

understanding risk
11
putting risk in perspective
23
risk charts a way to get perspective
29
can i reduce my risk?
35
judging the benefit of a health intervention
37
not all benefits are equal understand the outcome
55
does risk reduction have downsides?
65
consider the downsides
67
beware of exaggerated certainty
101
whos behind the numbers?
109
extra help
115
QUICK SUMMARY
117
GLOSSARY
120
NUMBER CONVERTER AND RISK CHARTS
126
CREDIBLE SOURCES OF HEALTH STATISTICS
130
NOTES
133

do the benefits outweigh the downsides?
75
developing a healthy skepticism
85
beware of exaggerated importance
87

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About the author (2008)

Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, and H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, are general internists, faculty members at Dartmouth Medical School, and researchers in the VA Outcomes Group, Department of Veterans Affairs, White River Junction, Vermont. Woloshin and Schwartz have written many articles together for leading medical journals, and Welch is the author of Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why (UC Press).

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