- Evidence-based medicine July 7
It's called the "number needed to treat," or NNT. As Aaron Carroll explains below, it's how many people need to take a particular treatment for one of them to receive the advertised benefit. For example, if we imagine a treatment for the common cold with an NNT of 5, that means for every person whose cold was successfully treated, 4 people took the medicine for no benefit.
Sounds simple, right? What's amazing is just how high this number can be. Even very famous and well-accepted treatments often have NNTs in the hundreds or thousands. Watch the video for the full explanation. --Ryan Cooper
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Mike Huckabee's head-scratching advice to Christian voters
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- The Tea Party has its own immigration problem: Cuba
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- The American middle class is no longer safe from poverty — and that might be a good thing
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