Asked by: Yunfeng Muntyan
medical health cancer

What does number needed to treat mean?

Last Updated: 3rd May, 2020

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The Number Needed to Treat (NNT) is the number of patients you need to treat to prevent one additional bad outcome (death, stroke, etc.). For example, if a drug has an NNT of 5, it means you have to treat 5 people with the drug to prevent one additional bad outcome.

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Herein, what is an acceptable NNT?

The ideal NNT is 1, where everyone improves with treatment and no one improves with control. A higher NNT indicates that treatment is less effective. NNT is similar to number needed to harm (NNH), where NNT usually refers to a therapeutic intervention and NNH to a detrimental effect or risk factor.

Also Know, what does a negative NNT mean? A negative number needed to treat indicates that the treatment has a harmful effect. An NNT=−20 indicates that if 20 patients are treated with the new treatment, one fewer would have a good outcome than if they all received the standard treatment.

People also ask, what does number needed to harm mean?

The number needed to harm (NNH) is an epidemiological measure that indicates how many persons on average need to be exposed to a risk factor over a specific period to cause harm in an average of one person who would not otherwise have been harmed.

What is a good number needed to screen?

The ideal number needed to treat is 1, indicating that all treated patients will benefit. Less effective treatments have higher values. A positive number indicates that the treatment benefits the patient and a negative number that the patient is harmed by the treatment.

Related Question Answers

Ange Mascareña

Professional

What is the NNT for statins?

Statins , which have become synonymous with “heart-attack-and-stroke-preventing,” have an NNT of 60 for heart attack and 268 for stroke: That's how many healthy people have to take statins for five years for those respective outcomes to be prevented.

Somna Galante

Professional

When can you calculate NNT?

The NNT is simply the inverse of the ARR; it can be calculated by taking 100 and dividing it by the ARR (1).

Miguela Burzaco

Explainer

Can arr be negative?

When NNT is negative, it is called NNH—the number needed to harm. As ARR approaches zero, it means that there is almost no difference between the new treatment and the control, and therefore, infinitely many patients need to be treated for one to get well, who otherwise would not have.

Rehana Orduña

Explainer

What is intention to treat?

Intention to treat (ITT) analysis means all patients who were enrolled and randomly allocated to treatment are included in the analysis and are analysed in the groups to which they were randomized. i.e. “once randomized, always analyzed”

Garcia Colaço

Explainer

How do you calculate absolute risk?

How to calculate risk
  1. AR (absolute risk) = the number of events (good or bad) in treated or control groups, divided by the number of people in that group.
  2. ARC = the AR of events in the control group.
  3. ART = the AR of events in the treatment group.
  4. ARR (absolute risk reduction) = ARC – ART.
  5. RR (relative risk) = ART / ARC.

Xinrong Schirmack

Pundit

Can you calculate NNT with hazard ratio?

Mario de Lemos advises that for trials in which survival analysis is used, clinicians should ideally calculate the NNT from the hazard ratio. As described in our paper,3 clinicians can calculate the NNT as the inverse of the difference in event rates (or absolute risk reduction) at the end of the study follow-up.

Nezar Apprichs

Pundit

How do you calculate absolute risk increase?

The process of calculating NNT is formalised in the equations below:
  1. Absolute Risk (AR) = ( number of events (good or bad) in treated or control group ) / ( number of people in that group)
  2. ARC = AR of events in the control group.
  3. ART = AR of events in the treatment group.
  4. Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR) = ARC - ART.

Keitha Poisson

Pundit

How is relative risk calculated?

Relative Risk is calculated by dividing the probability of an event occurring for group 1 (A) divided by the probability of an event occurring for group 2 (B). Relative Risk is very similar to Odds Ratio, however, RR is calculated by using percentages, whereas Odds Ratio is calculated by using the ratio of odds.

Amalur Hanswillemenke

Pundit

What is the difference between absolute risk and relative risk?

The absolute risk of something happening is the odds of that happening over a stated time period. Absolute risk is different from relative risk, where two groups of people are compared. For example, smokers might be 25% more likely to get breast cancer than non-smokers, meaning a relative risk increase of 25%.

Antoneta Babilyas

Pundit

How do you calculate the absolute risk reduction?

How to calculate risk
  1. AR (absolute risk) = the number of events (good or bad) in treated or control groups, divided by the number of people in that group.
  2. ARC = the AR of events in the control group.
  3. ART = the AR of events in the treatment group.
  4. ARR (absolute risk reduction) = ARC – ART.
  5. RR (relative risk) = ART / ARC.

Luc Ramsperger

Teacher

How do you calculate number needed to treat relative risk?

This concept is called "number need to treat" and is one of the most intuitive statistics for clinical practice. The RR = (8/1000) / (10/1000) = 0.8 making the RRR = (1-0.8/1)=0.2 or 20%. Although this sounds impressive, the absolute risk reduction is only 0.01-0.008=. 002 or 0.2%.

Guisela Benameur

Teacher

How do you find the odds ratio?

Odds ratio (OR) = ratio of odds of event occurring in exposed vs. unexposed group. Odds ratio are used to estimate how strongly a variable is associated with the outcome of interest; in prospective trials, it is simply a different way of expressing this association than relative risk.

Tatyana Gastesi

Teacher

What does risk ratio mean?

risk ratio (… RAY-shee-oh) A measure of the risk of a certain event happening in one group compared to the risk of the same event happening in another group. In cancer research, risk ratios are used in prospective (forward looking) studies, such as cohort studies and clinical trials.

Lelah Cuan

Teacher

What does absolute risk reduction mean?

The absolute risk reduction is the arithmetic difference between the event rates in the two groups. This varies depending on the underlying event rate, becoming smaller when the event rate is low, and larger when the event rate is high.

Soukeina Netenjakob

Reviewer

Can you have a negative absolute risk reduction?

When there is no difference in risk between the treatment and control, the absolute risk reduction is zero and NNT is infinite. Also, when the difference is not significant, the CI for absolute risk reduction will include zero. When NNT is negative, it is called NNH—the number needed to harm.

Hina Licht

Reviewer

What is odds ratio in clinical trials?

Definition: The chance of an event occurring in one group compared to the chance of it occurring in another group. The odds ratio (OR) is a measure of effect size and is commonly used to compare results in clinical trials. When they calculated the odds of an early delivery, the odds ratio (OR) for metformin was 1.06.