Displaying clinical data relationships using scaled rectangle diagrams

Stat Med. 2001 Apr 15;20(7):1077-88. doi: 10.1002/sim.747.


A method is presented to draw rectangles to represent categorical data relationships. The idea is an adaptation of a scaled Venn diagram. Rectangles are drawn with area proportional to the frequency of categories and the rectangles are positioned to overlap each other so that the areas of overlap are in proportion to the joint frequencies of the characteristics. The diagrams are especially useful to illustrate symptom co-occurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Chorea / diagnosis
  • Chorea / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Diagnosis, Differential*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Probability
  • Rheumatic Fever / diagnosis
  • Rheumatic Fever / epidemiology
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / diagnosis
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease / epidemiology