This resource is part of the collection Should I Risk It?
This problem follows on from How Risky is a Bacon Sandwich?
Watch the video below, where Professor David Spiegelhalter discusses the benefits and risks of taking statins.
If you cannot view the video, click below to view some alternative text.
Do you think that Professor Spiegelhalter should be taking statins? What information would help you to make sense of this newspaper headline?
How can this information help Professor Spiegelhalter assess the benefit of him taking statins?
Do you agree with his analysis in the video below?
What other factors might affect Professor Spiegelhalter's decision whether to take the drug?
What decision would you make in his position?
Look at the video below to see if you have made the same choice as he has.
Below are some more newspaper headlines. What other information would you need to evaluate the risks mentioned?
Statins Linked to Raised Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Taking statins increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes over the next 2 years by 50%.
Ibuprofen can raise risk of heart attack
People prescribed ibuprofen were 24% more likely to suffer from a heart attack in the next three months.
An aspirin a day could double cancer survival rates
Aspirin increases 5-year cancer survival rates by 80%.
For another activity examining newspaper headlines and risk, try Trusting the Tabloids.
Understanding Uncertainty, Professor Spiegelhalter's website, has lots of articles about probability and risk that you might find interesting. There are some suggestions below, but there's lots more you can explore.