Letters NNTs in chronic disease

NNT is highly misleading when assessing chronic disease prevention

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4167 (Published 15 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4167
  1. Timo E Strandberg, professor1
  1. 1Universities of Helsinki and Oulu, PO Box 22, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
  1. timo.strandberg{at}oulu.fi

The use of absolute risk reduction and number needed to treat (NNT) instead of relative risk reduction (RRR) has been advocated when communicating the effect of various treatments to patients.1 2 However, the use of NNT in the prevention of chronic disease may be highly misleading and may underestimate long term benefits.

In a hypothetical primary prevention trial …

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial

Subscribe