Standard errors for attributable risk for simple and complex sample designs

Biometrics. 2005 Sep;61(3):847-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-0420.2005.00355.x.


Adjusted attributable risk (AR) is the proportion of diseased individuals in a population that is due to an exposure. We consider estimates of adjusted AR based on odds ratios from logistic regression to adjust for confounding. Influence function methods used in survey sampling are applied to obtain simple and easily programmable expressions for estimating the variance of AR. These variance estimators can be applied to data from case-control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies with or without frequency or individual matching and for sample designs with subject samples that range from simple random samples to (sample) weighted multistage stratified cluster samples like those used in national household surveys. The variance estimation of AR is illustrated with: (i) a weighted stratified multistage clustered cross-sectional study of childhood asthma from the Third National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES III), and (ii) a frequency-matched case-control study of melanoma skin cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research Design*
  • Risk*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution