Evidence-Based Public Health

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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.

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  • February 8, 2010
  • 02:49 PM

Methods Monday: Maximum Likelihood in SAS using PROC NLP

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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 »

  • February 2, 2010
  • 10:41 PM

More on abstinence

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

A recent paper describes a significant benefit from abstinence-only education. The story is more complicated...... Read more »

  • January 9, 2010
  • 03:55 PM

Crime and Public Health: Plumbum Causa

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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 »

  • January 7, 2010
  • 06:40 PM

Achtung, Baby: Hazard Ratios

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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 »

Hernán, M. (2010) The Hazards of Hazard Ratios. Epidemiology, 21(1), 13-15. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c1ea43  

  • January 6, 2010
  • 04:30 PM

Innovation in Health: Socialism and Innovation

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

What's the motivation for innovation in healthcare, and does any degree of socialization at any level have an impact?... Read more »

  • November 19, 2009
  • 10:11 PM

Multilevel (Quantile) Regression - A Question for Gelman

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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 »

  • November 16, 2009
  • 11:50 PM

Prevalence in Place of Plausibility: NCCAM Call for Comments

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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  

  • November 13, 2009
  • 10:50 PM

Methods Blogging: The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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 »

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  

  • November 12, 2009
  • 03:58 PM

Cell Phones and Cancer?

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

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  

  • November 11, 2009
  • 12:33 AM

'Cause I said so... The Sufficient-Component Cause model and what it can tell us about cancer screening: Part I

by Ryan in Evidence-Based Public Health

... Read more »

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