In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, The Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, has another interesting column. This time he writes of health not-for-profits who find ways to present scary statistics to state their cases for support.
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Here is a comment posted below the article --
Unfortunately disease prevalence has traditionally been used to establish relative priorities for much research funding, and prevalence simply doesn't tell the story for some diseases. I've been involved in the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) for a number of years. It has a relatively low prevalence and a high incidence, and therein lies the problem. It's like a cruel game of musical chairs where we keep pouring people into the room and when the music stops, there are very few chairs. The only exit is a door labeled "death." Many of our ALS organizations are resigned to the fact that disease prevalence has been the gold standard for government and private research funding priorities. That attitude will never bring ALS the attention it needs to be handled as an urgent, fatal, and mysterious disease with a horrific throughput. I wish the ALS cause had some of those numbers people who can express the odds in a way that would make every healthy person squirm!