Chances that a drug treatment helps

Posted to Infographics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

It’s a common belief that if someone has a medical condition, a patient can take a treatment and the condition gets better or goes away. That is, improvement is directly related to intake. However, as it turns out, there’s often a good chance the patient would have gotten better without the treatment. There’s also a chance a treatment does nothing.

Austin Frakt and Aaron E. Carroll for the Upshot describe these chances through a metric called number needed to treat, or N.N.T. The simple animations throughout the article provide a great dose of perspective to the odds.

Favorites

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.