Solution to question on a study of back pain and heart disease, 4

From the table there is no evidence for an association between back pain and stroke or other cardiovascular disease among the younger men. In older men, those with back pain have lower risks than those without back pain for all causes of death. In addition, no associations were observed among women. Thus it seems likely that the observed association among younger men is a spurious significant result which has arisen because of multiple testing (Intro 9.10). If you calculate the actual numbers of death from the rates given in the table, and from these assemble a table for all men, you will find that there is a very slight excess of deaths in each category for men without a history of back pain!

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Last updated: 8 April, 2004.