Posts Tagged ‘ Medicine ’

Some statistics about nutrition statistics

May 26, 2015
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I only read nutrition studies in the service of this blog but otherwise, I don't trust them or care. Nevertheless, the health beat of most media outlets is obsessed with printing the latest research on coffee or eggs or fats or alcohol or what have you. Now, the estimable John Ioannidis has published an editorial in BMJ titled "Implausible Results in Human Nutrition Research". John previously told us about the…

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More on the AA paper

April 21, 2015
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More on the AA paper

This is a supplement to the previous post about a new research paper on the effect of Alcoholics Anonymous, and an NY Times exposition that I commented on. A misreading of that article led me to complain about per-protocol analysis, which wasn't the methodology behind the Humphrey et. al. research. I will explain their methodology in this post (known as instrumental variables analysis). *** In the last post, I showed…

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NYT likes new AA study. Why I am not convinced.

April 20, 2015
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NYT likes new AA study. Why I am not convinced.

[After communicating with Frakt, Humphrey and Dean Eckles, I realize that I was confused about Frakt's description of the Humphrey paper, which does not perform PP analysis. So when reading this post, consider it a discussion of ITT versus PP analysis. I will post about Humphrey's methodology separately.] The New York Times plugged a study of the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (link). The author (Austin Frakt) used this occasion…

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Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

April 1, 2015
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Yet another popular nutrition headline doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

Are science journalists required to take one good statistics course? That is the question in my head when I read this Science Times article, titled "One Cup of Coffee Could Offset Three Drinks a Day" (link). We are used to seeing rather tenuous conclusions such as "Four Cups of Coffee Reduces Your Risk of X". This headline takes it up another notch. A result is claimed about the substitution effect…

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Tricky boy William

March 11, 2015
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Tricky boy William

Last week, I was quite bothered by this chart I produced using the Baby Name Voyager tool. According to this chart, William has drastically declined in popularity over time. The name was 7 times more popular back in the 1880s...

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Some data science principles from Gelman, Rosling and me

March 6, 2015
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Some data science principles from Gelman, Rosling and me

I discovered Hans Rosling's Gapminder work when I first started Junk Charts almost ten year ago, with this series of posts. So I was very excited to meet Hans yesterday at the Data, Children and Post-2015 Agenda Event hosted by the UNICEF Data and Analytics Section. And he gave a marvellous talk. I came away touched in equal parts by his humanity, the animated passion for his subject, and the…

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Composite ranking and numbersense

February 25, 2015
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Composite ranking and numbersense

Chapter 1 of Numbersense (link)uses the example of U.S. News ranking of law schools to explore the national pastime of ranking almost anything. Since there is no objective standard for the "correct" ranking, it is pointless to complain about "arbitrary" weighting and so on. Every replacement has its own assumptions. A more productive path forward is to understand how the composite ranking is created, and shine a light on the…

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There are no easy charts

February 5, 2015
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There are no easy charts

Every chart, even if the dataset is small, deserves care. Long-time reader zbicyclist submits the following, which illustrates this point well. The following comments are by zbicyclist: This is from http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics/ -- from the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney...

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Losing sleep over schedules

January 5, 2015
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Losing sleep over schedules

Fan of the blog, John H., made a JunkCharts-style post about a chart that has been picked as a "Best of" for 2014 by Fast Company (link). I agree with him. It seems more fit to be on the "Worst...

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Three good charts

November 21, 2014
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Alberto Cairo, Stephen McDaniel and I were asked about our "favorite" data visualization at the Qlik Conference this week. Stephen wrote up our answers here.

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