10 posts · 13,056 views
This blog is devoted to a science- and evidence-based approach to public health. The evidence basis is accumulating faster than any one person can synthesize it, but decisions at all levels should be informed by the best possible information.
I've been working on fitting some excess relative risk (ERR) models to case-control data on occupational exposures lately. ERR models are of the form:RR=1+β*XIn SAS, unfortunately, we don't have unlimited freedom in defining the form of the model we want to fit, but a recent paper by Langholz and Richardson [behind firewall] describes a way that we can solve for parameters once we specify the likelihood function. (For those interested, the likelihood function can be thought of as the ........ Read more »
Langholz, B., & Richardson, D. (2009) Fitting General Relative Risk Models for Survival Time and Matched Case-Control Analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(3), 377-383. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwp403
A recent paper describes a significant benefit from abstinence-only education. The story is more complicated...... Read more »
Jemmott, J., Jemmott, L., & Fong, G. (2010) Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months: A Randomized Controlled Trial With Young Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 164(2), 152-159. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.267
There is a distressingly myopic tendency among our existing social programs. Health departments ignore crime, and miss a valuable opportunity to improve social well-being.... Read more »
Wright, J., Dietrich, K., Ris, M., Hornung, R., Wessel, S., Lanphear, B., Ho, M., & Rae, M. (2008) Association of Prenatal and Childhood Blood Lead Concentrations with Criminal Arrests in Early Adulthood. PLoS Medicine, 5(5). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050101
The hazard ratio is the statistic of choice for nearly all medical research involving time. And by far the most common method of deriving hazard ratios from data is via the Cox Proportional Hazards model. In a great little editorial in this month's Epidemiology, Miguel Hernán lays out what we lose and what we can gain with a more subtle approach.... Read more »
What's the motivation for innovation in healthcare, and does any degree of socialization at any level have an impact?... Read more »
Conrad, D., & Perry, L. (2009) Quality-Based Financial Incentives in Health Care: Can We Improve Quality by Paying for It?. Annual Review of Public Health, 30(1), 357-371. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.031308.100243
Multilevel (or hierarchical) regression modeling is very popular in the social sciences. So what I want to do is a hierarchical quantile regression of the 75% quantile of time spent in jail. And that was my question for Andrew Gelman.... Read more »
Carmichael SL, Witte JS, & Shaw GM. (2009) Nutrient pathways and neural tube defects: a semi-Bayesian hierarchical analysis. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 20(1), 67-73. PMID: 19234400
NCCAM has funded, to the tune of half a million dollars, of study of magnets and carpal tunnel syndrome.... Read more »
Colbert, A., Wahbeh, H., Harling, N., Connelly, E., Schiffke, H., Forsten, C., Gregory, W., Markov, M., Souder, J., Elmer, P.... (2007) Static Magnetic Field Therapy: A Critical Review of Treatment Parameters. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 6(2), 133-139. DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nem131
It's somewhat defeating to acknowledge, but a large part of the strength (and beauty) of this study lies in its simplicity. Placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized; these are the things biostatisticians dream of. Luckily, I'm not one; but I can still appreciate it.... Read more »
Thompson, I. (2003) The Influence of Finasteride on the Development of Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 349(3), 215-224. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa030660
Gerald L. Andriole, M.D., E. David Crawford, M.D., Robert L. Grubb, III, M.D., Saundra S. Buys, M.D., David Chia, Ph.D., Timothy R. Church, Ph.D., Mona N. Fouad, M.D., Edward P. Gelmann, M.D., Paul A. Kvale, M.D., Douglas J. Reding, M.D., Joel L. Weissfel. (2009) Mortality Results from a Randomized Prostate-Cancer Screening Trial. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(17), 1797-1797. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMx090012
CNN has a story about the link between cell phone usage and tumors. Unfortunately, the article tends towards the sensational, and doesn't cite the many recent studies that have failed to find a link between cell phone use and cancer.... Read more »
Ahlbom A, Feychting M, Green A, Kheifets L, Savitz DA, Swerdlow AJ, & ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Standing Committee on Epidemiology. (2009) Epidemiologic evidence on mobile phones and tumor risk: a review. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 20(5), 639-52. PMID: 19593153
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Flanders WD. (2006) On the relationship of sufficient component cause models with potential outcome (counterfactual) models. European journal of epidemiology, 21(12), 847-53. PMID: 17048084
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