Model-based estimation of relative risks and other epidemiologic measures in studies of common outcomes and in case-control studies

Am J Epidemiol. 2004 Aug 15;160(4):301-5. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwh221.


Some recent articles have discussed biased methods for estimating risk ratios from adjusted odds ratios when the outcome is common, and the problem of setting confidence limits for risk ratios. These articles have overlooked the extensive literature on valid estimation of risks, risk ratios, and risk differences from logistic and other models, including methods that remain valid when the outcome is common, and methods for risk and rate estimation from case-control studies. The present article describes how most of these methods can be subsumed under a general formulation that also encompasses traditional standardization methods and methods for projecting the impact of partially successful interventions. Approximate variance formulas for the resulting estimates allow interval estimation; these intervals can be closely approximated by rapid simulation procedures that require only standard software functions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Epidemiologic Measurements*
  • Epidemiologic Research Design*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk*