Endgames Statistical Question

Placebos

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c247 (Published 21 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c247
  1. Philip Sedgwick, senior lecturer in medical statistics
  1. 1Centre for Medical and Healthcare Education, St George’s, University of London, Tooting, London SW17 0RE
  1. p.sedgwick{at}sgul.ac.uk

    Researchers undertook a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial to assess whether calcium supplementation was associated with adverse cardiovascular events.1 Healthy postmenopausal women were recruited and randomly assigned to receive five tablets a day of either 200 mg of elemental calcium or identical placebo. The occurrence of adverse cardiovascular events over a five year period was recorded. Calcium supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women was associated with increased rates of adverse cardiovascular events.

    Which of the following statements, if any, are true?

    • a) The placebo was an inert treatment with no …

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