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Epidemiological methods: about time.

Kraemer HC - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2009)

Bottom Line: Epidemiological studies often produce false positive results due to use of statistical approaches that either ignore or distort time.The three time-related issues of focus in this discussion are: (1) cross-sectional vs. cohort studies, (2) statistical significance vs. public health significance, and (3), how risk factors "work together" to impact public health significance.The issue of time should be central to all thinking in epidemiology research, affecting sampling, measurement, design, analysis and, perhaps most important, the interpretation of results that might influence clinical and public-health decision-making and subsequent clinical research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1116 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA. hckhome@pacbell.net

ABSTRACT
Epidemiological studies often produce false positive results due to use of statistical approaches that either ignore or distort time. The three time-related issues of focus in this discussion are: (1) cross-sectional vs. cohort studies, (2) statistical significance vs. public health significance, and (3), how risk factors "work together" to impact public health significance. The issue of time should be central to all thinking in epidemiology research, affecting sampling, measurement, design, analysis and, perhaps most important, the interpretation of results that might influence clinical and public-health decision-making and subsequent clinical research.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

ROC curve comparing survival in the “high” and “low” risk groups.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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f2-ijerph-07-00029: ROC curve comparing survival in the “high” and “low” risk groups.

Mentions: Many arguments have been put forward in recent years to support that contentious point [40–44], but let us here consider only one closely related to the consideration of time. In Figure 2 is shown the ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) plane in which the two survival curves shown in Figure 1 are compared. Here 1-S1(t) is graphed against 1-S0(t) for all values of t. These values connected with each other and with the two endpoints at (0,0) and (1,1) form the ROC curve comparing the RF = 1 and RF = 0 groups on time to onset (AUC is the area under this ROC curve). If there were only random association between the risk factor and onset, the ROC curve would coincide with the diagonal line from (0,0) to (1,1): the Random ROC. Here the ROC curve clearly indicates non-random association. The ROC curve crosses the Random ROC when t = T*, and as t increases, all points converge to the single point (0.5,0.3) determined by the proportion of the two groups who will eventually have this non-inevitable onset.


Epidemiological methods: about time.

Kraemer HC - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2009)

ROC curve comparing survival in the “high” and “low” risk groups.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2819774&req=5

f2-ijerph-07-00029: ROC curve comparing survival in the “high” and “low” risk groups.
Mentions: Many arguments have been put forward in recent years to support that contentious point [40–44], but let us here consider only one closely related to the consideration of time. In Figure 2 is shown the ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) plane in which the two survival curves shown in Figure 1 are compared. Here 1-S1(t) is graphed against 1-S0(t) for all values of t. These values connected with each other and with the two endpoints at (0,0) and (1,1) form the ROC curve comparing the RF = 1 and RF = 0 groups on time to onset (AUC is the area under this ROC curve). If there were only random association between the risk factor and onset, the ROC curve would coincide with the diagonal line from (0,0) to (1,1): the Random ROC. Here the ROC curve clearly indicates non-random association. The ROC curve crosses the Random ROC when t = T*, and as t increases, all points converge to the single point (0.5,0.3) determined by the proportion of the two groups who will eventually have this non-inevitable onset.

Bottom Line: Epidemiological studies often produce false positive results due to use of statistical approaches that either ignore or distort time.The three time-related issues of focus in this discussion are: (1) cross-sectional vs. cohort studies, (2) statistical significance vs. public health significance, and (3), how risk factors "work together" to impact public health significance.The issue of time should be central to all thinking in epidemiology research, affecting sampling, measurement, design, analysis and, perhaps most important, the interpretation of results that might influence clinical and public-health decision-making and subsequent clinical research.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1116 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA. hckhome@pacbell.net

ABSTRACT
Epidemiological studies often produce false positive results due to use of statistical approaches that either ignore or distort time. The three time-related issues of focus in this discussion are: (1) cross-sectional vs. cohort studies, (2) statistical significance vs. public health significance, and (3), how risk factors "work together" to impact public health significance. The issue of time should be central to all thinking in epidemiology research, affecting sampling, measurement, design, analysis and, perhaps most important, the interpretation of results that might influence clinical and public-health decision-making and subsequent clinical research.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus