Simple formulas for gauging the potential impacts of population stratification bias

Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Jan 1;167(1):86-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwm257. Epub 2007 Sep 19.


The case-control study design is popular for genetic association studies of complex human diseases. However, case-control studies may suffer from bias due to population stratification. In this paper, the authors present simple formulas that can set a limit to the havoc population stratification bias can wreak (the lower and upper bounds of the confounding rate ratio and the upper bound of the type I error rate). The authors demonstrate applications of these formulas using two examples. The formulas can help researchers make more prudent interpretations of their (potentially biased) results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bias*
  • Case-Control Studies*
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Odds Ratio