Freshman Statistics Seminar – 6/16/07


Week 1: Articles that illustrate why we should study statistics

Main Articles:

  • Mordiera 2006 NYT “Recommended For MDs: A Grounding In Statistics”

Additional Reading:

  • Switzer, S.S. and N.J. Horton 2007 Chance 20(1). “What Your Doctor Should Know About Statistics But Perhaps Doesn’t.” Pp. 17-21.
  • Greenhalgh 1997 BMJ 315 p422 “How To Read A Paper – Statistics For The Non-Statistician: Significant Relations And Their Pitfalls”
  • Greenhalgh 1997 BMJ 315 p364 “How To Read A Paper – Statistics For The Non-Statistician: Different Types Of Data Need Different Statistical Tests”
  • Greenhalgh 1997 BMJ 315 p305 “How To Read A Paper – Assessing The Methodological Quality Of Published Papers”
  • Greenhalgh 1997 BMJ 315 p243 “How To Read A Paper – Getting Your Bearings (Deciding What The Paper Is About)”

Lesson Plan

Week 2 Basic Statistics & Simulating randomness

Introduce Vocabulary: population vs. sample, parameter vs. random variable Exercise: Use simulations to understand randomness and basic statistical terms

Lesson Plan

Week 3 Correlation versus causation: not the same

Main Articles:

Exercise: Using gapminder.com to find correlations: what’s the most absurd correlation you can find?

Lesson Plan

Week 4 Observational studies versus experiments

Main Articles:

  • Ash 2006 Intl J Obes 30 p1557 “A Randomised Control Trial Comparing Lifestyle Groups Individual Counselling and Written Information In The Management Of Weight And Health Outcomes Over 12 Months”
  • Wall 2006 “The Question of Causation Edit”

Additional Reading:

  • Tsai 2005 Annals Int Med 142 p56 “Systematic Review- An Evaluation Of Major Commercial Weight Loss Programs In The US”
  • Tsai 2005 Annals Int Med 142 p56 “SUMMARY-Systematic Review- An Evaluation Of Major Commercial Weight Loss Programs In The US”

Lesson Plan

Week 5 Correlation and Causation: more in depth

Main Articles:

  • McNeil 2006 NYT “HIV Risk Halved By Circumcision- US Agency Finds”
  • Lafraniere 2006 NYT “Circumcision Studied In Africa As AIDS Preventive”
  • Caldwell 1996 Sci Amer 274 p62 “The African AIDS Epidemic”
  • Caldwell 1996 Maps B
  • Caldwell 1996 Maps A

Additional Reading:

  • Ntozi 1995 Health Trans Rev 5 p97- “The East African AIDS Epidemic Andthe Absence Of Male Circumcision- What Is The Link”
  • Auvert 2005 PLoS Med 2 e298-“Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial Of Male Circumcision For Reduction Of HIV Infection Risk”

Exercise:

  • Simulated risk of contracting HIV

Lesson Plan

Week 6 Sample size

Main Articles:

  • Gellene 2006 LA Times “Breast Cancer Rates Fall-A 7 pcnt Decrease Is Seen In The US in 2003 After Millions Cease Hormone Therapy Linked To Risks”
  • Kolata 2002 NYT “Study Is Halted Over Rise Seen In Cancer Risk”

Additional Reading:

  • Grady 1999 NYT “A Study Plays Down Estrogen Link To Breast Cancers”

Exercise:

  • Compare two sets of populations: both sets have the same mean for population one, which differs from the mean of population 2. However, set one has small variance in each of the two populations, set two has large variance.

Lesson Plan

Week 7 Example leading to statistical test

Main Articles:

  • Pearl 1938 Science 87 p216 “Tobacco Smoking And Longevity”
  • Doll 1954 Br Med J 2 p1451 “The Mortality Of Doctors In Relation To Their Smoking Habits- A Preliminary Report”
  • Doll 2004 BMJ 328 p1519 “Mortality In Relation To Smoking: 50 Years Observations On Male British Doctors”

Additional Reading:

  • Wynder 1997 Am J Epi 146 p687 “Tobacco As A Cause Of Lung Cancer- Some Reflections”
  • Study Group On Smoking And Health 1957 Science 125 p1129 “Smoking And Health”
  • Fields 2003 J Epid Comm Health 57 p571 “Chasing Ernst L Wynder-40 Years Of Philip Morris Efforts To Influence A Leading Scientist”

Exercise: Create alternative reasons for the results in the Pearl paper, and find evidence to refute the alternative reasons in the Doll papers.

Lesson Plans

Week 8 Sample size, randomness, experimental design, positive and negative controls

Main Articles:

  • DeHaen 2006 Arch Ped Adol Med 160 p1121 “Duct Tape And Warts”
  • Focht 2002 Arch Ped Adol Med 156 p971 “Duct Tape And Warts”

Additional Reading:

  • Van Cleave 2006 Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 160 p1126 “Interpreting Negative Results From Underpowered Studies”

Lesson Plan

Week 9 Formulating Hypotheses

Main Article:

  • Sherman 2001 Amer Sci 89 p142 “Protecting Ourselves From Food- Spices And Morning Sickness May Shield Us From Toxins And Microorganisms In The Diet”

Additional Reading:

  • Flaxman 2000 Q Rev Biol 75 p113 “Morning Sickness- A Mechanism For Protecting Mother And Embryo”
  • Billing 1998 Q Rev Biol 73 p3 “Antimicrobial Functions Of Spices- Why Some Like It Hot”

Lesson Plan

Week 10 Hypothesis testing, experimental design

Main Articles:

  • Anon 2006 Reuters Health “Pepper Oil Aroma Helps Elderly With Swallowing”
  • Ebihara 2006 J Am Geriatr Soc 54 p1401 “A Randomized Trial Of Olfactory Stimulation Using Black Pepper Oil In Older People With Swallowing Dysfunction”

Lesson Plan

Week 11 Mathematical models for prediction

Main Articles:

  • Neergaard 2006 Boston Globe “911 Air Travel Dip Linked To Flu’s Delay”
  • Brown 2006 Wash Post “World Death Toll Of A Flu Pandemic Would Be 62 Million”

Additional Reading:

  • Murray 2006 Lancet 368 p2211 “Estimation Of Potential Global Pandemic Influenza Mortality”
  • Brownstein 2006 PLoS Med 3 e401 “Empirical Evidence For The Effect Of Airline Travel On Inter Regional Influenza Spread In The US”

Lesson Plan

Week 12 Sampling the subpopulations

Main Articles

  • Tate 2005 PNAS 102 p5507 “Genetic Predictors Of The Maxium Doses Patients Receive During Clinical Use”
  • Kent 2007 Amer Sci 95 p60 “Analyzing The Results Of Clinical Trials To Expose Individual Patients Risks Might Help Doctors”
  • Rathore 2003 BMJ 327 p763 “Race And Clinical Research”

Exercise:

  • Sampling subpopulations Excel exercise

Lesson Plan

Week 13 Hazard Ratios/ Relative Risk

Main Articles

  • Phend 2007 Med Page Today “Lifestyle Changes Effective In Preventing Type 2 Diabetes”
  • Shore 2007 Neuhauser HHMI “Hazard Ratios Simplified”
  • Spruance 2004 Ant Agent Chemo 48 p2787 “Hazard Ratio Minireview”

Exercise:

  • Create a high risk and low risk patients and calculate the relative risk for each using the “Your Disease Risk” handout

Lesson Plan

Week 14: Poster presentations

Group Project reports and poster presentations presenting statistics in some field of medical research.

Lesson Plan