Dicing with Death : Chance, Risk and Health, Paperback

Dicing with Death : Chance, Risk and Health Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


If you think that statistics has nothing to say about what you do or how you could do it better, then you are either wrong or in need of a more interesting job.

Stephen Senn explains here how statistics determines many decisions about medical care, from allocating resources for health, to determining which drugs to license, to cause-and-effect in relation to disease.

He tackles big themes: clinical trials and the development of medicines, life tables, vaccines and their risks or lack of them, smoking and lung cancer and even the power of prayer.

He entertains with puzzles and paradoxes and covers the lives of famous statistical pioneers.

By the end of the book the reader will see how reasoning with probability is essential to making rational decisions in medicine, and how and when it can guide us when faced with choices that impact on our health and even life.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 261 pages, 35 b/w illus. 29 tables
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Medicine: general issues
  • ISBN: 9780521540230



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I like this book, but I can only give it a low star rating. It's a complex subject, but well handled by the author. The problem is the number of typos! I studied this book as part of an Open University course, and sometimes it seemed as if there was a correction of the book for every section we had to read. Given that this makes understanding it even more difficult than it would be at first, I must say that it's rather unforgiveable sloppiness.