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The Cure in the Code by Peter Huber

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11

REASSEMBLING THE PIECES: PART 2

IN 1948, A century after John Snow tracked cholera to the Broad Street pump and removed the handle, his successors at the NIH began searching for handles that might be removed to quell America’s rising epidemic of heart disease. They signed up 5,209 residents of the small town of Framing-ham, Massachusetts, to participate in a long-term study that would track their cardiovascular health and an array of possible risk factors. But the researchers faced an immediate practical problem: using traditional statistical methods to analyze every possible combination of ten risk factors would have required tracking hundreds of thousands of people to get a sufficient number of representatives of each possible combination. ...

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