Four percent of the white population in the United States are color blind. Is that figure of clinical value? Not really, just as might be the case for the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT) study.1 One cannot lump statistics when the incidence of a condition is different for men and women. Four percent of the population are color blind, but if we split it up by gender, 7% are men and 1% are women. My analogy is unfair because color blindness is sexlinked, but nonetheless, combining statistics derived from men and women for many autoimmune diseases results in unreliable data. The prognosis for optic neuritis is more than twice as bad for women. Approximately 34% of the men and 75% of the women with idiopathic optic neuritis will manifest multiple sclerosis (MS) within 15 years.2 An analysis of the benefits of intravenous steroids requires comparisons of control white
Coyle JT. Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial Study. Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(10):1274. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090220024002
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