Assessing the combined effect of asbestos exposure and smoking on lung cancer: a Bayesian approach

Stat Med. 2007 Feb 28;26(5):1150-69. doi: 10.1002/sim.2602.


We review the literature on the combined association between lung cancer and two environmental exposures, asbestos exposure and smoking, and explore a Bayesian approach to assess evidence of interaction between the exposures. The meta-analysis combines separate indices of additive and multiplicative relationships and multivariate relative risk estimates. By making inferences on posterior probabilities we can explore both the form and strength of interaction. This analysis may be more informative than providing evidence to support one relation over another on the basis of statistical significance. Overall, we find evidence for a more than additive and less than multiplicative relation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos / adverse effects*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Smoking / adverse effects*


  • Asbestos