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Thread: Medical news story - Is this an OK way to report the stats?

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    Medical news story - Is this an OK way to report the stats?




    I'm a medical writer covering an upcoming research paper. I'm new to the forum, so please LMK if this is not an appropriate place for my question.

    The paper is reporting crude disease (HIV) incidence rates of about 2.00 cases per 100 person years for men and 3.00 per 100 PY for women. Would it be correct to write this as "The risk of acquiring HIV was about two percent per year for men and three percent per year for women." - ?

    I would give the incidence rates in parentheses. I know this this is a super-basic math question, but as you know, medical news writers sometimes miss the point on stats! TIA for any input...

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    Re: Medical news story - Is this an OK way to report the stats?

    May benefit by more detail and let us know a little more context in order to help you. Say referencing the population or study design, etc.


    Study revealed 2% of men in the sample had an episode of gastroenteritis a year. Many more detail could be incorporated, location of study, etc. All depends on who is your end audience. Were these results statistically significant? We love confidence intervals, so if they include 0, there may be no risk at all - as well.
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    Re: Medical news story - Is this an OK way to report the stats?


    Yes, they're significant! Prospective follow up of approx 70,000 person-years, with narrow CIs.

    Can't give a lot of detail, as the paper is unpublished and embargoed.But I can say it involves long-term follow-up of a large, previously-uninfected population. Focus is on a specific risk marker...I'll come back and share a link when it's published!

    So, is my math good? I'm just thinking general readers will better understand "2% per year" than 2 cases per 100 PY. Thanks for your input...

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