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A simulation study of relative efficiency and bias in the nested case-control study design.

Authors
Bertke-S; Hein-M; Schubauer-Berigan-M; Deddens-J
Source
Am J Epidemiol 2013 Jun; 177(Suppl 11):S103
NIOSHTIC No.
20042839
Abstract
Purpose: The nested case-control study design, in which a fixed number of controls are matched to each case, is often used to analyze exposure-response associations within a cohort. It has become common practice to sample 5 - 10 controls per case, however, previous research has shown that in certain instances, significant gains in relative efficiency can be realized when more controls are matched with each case. This study expanded upon these results through a simulation study by also considering a continuous exposure variable as well as investigating potential bias due to small sample sizes. Methods: A simulation study was conducted investigating the effect of the number of cases, strength of exposure-response relation and skewness of exposure variable on bias and relative efficiency. Results: It was shown that relative efficiency decreased and bias away from the null increased as the true exposure-response parameter increased and the skewness of the exposure distribution of the risk-sets increased. This became more pronounced when the number of cases in the cohort was small. Conclusions: Gains in relative efficiency and bias reduction can be realized by sampling more than the 5-10 controls per case generally recommended, especially when there are few cases, a strong exposure-response relation and a skewed exposure variable.
Keywords
Case-studies; Analytical-instruments; Analytical-processes; Simulation-methods; Occupational-exposure; Employee-exposure; Dose-response; Control-methods; Sampling; Exposure-assessment; Data-processing; Quality-control
CODEN
AJEPAS
Publication Date
20130615
Document Type
Abstract
Fiscal Year
2013
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
B20130718
ISSN
0002-9262
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Priority Area
Manufacturing
Source Name
American Journal of Epidemiology
State
OH
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