Ex. Hon. Physician, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ex. Hon. Prof. of Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai 400 008.
I have never concentrated on the figure of five. But in the field of medicine it is worth remembering this number. Three conditions come to my mind when this number is very useful in private practice. It will help you not to do gross mistakes or to give a wrong prognosis or frighten your patient.
1. Only 5% patients having raised blood uric acid (primary type without any haematological disease) will develop gout. 95% will never develop gout.
2. Only 5% of patients having bronchial asthma will not respond to steroid inhalers. 95% of the patients will respond. These 5% patients have a true “steroid resistance” and will have to be treated with bronchodilators along with anti-leukotriene drugs, eosinophil inhibitors and anti IgE antibodies.
3. Only 5% of patients complaining of low backache have got disc disease from which they will very often recover within 6-12 weeks. The other 5% have got miscellaneous rare causes. 90% have mechanical causes.