Estimating model-adjusted risks, risk differences, and risk ratios from complex survey data

Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Mar 1;171(5):618-23. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp440. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


There is increasing interest in estimating and drawing inferences about risk or prevalence ratios and differences instead of odds ratios in the regression setting. Recent publications have shown how the GENMOD procedure in SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina) can be used to estimate these parameters in non-population-based studies. In this paper, the authors show how model-adjusted risks, risk differences, and risk ratio estimates can be obtained directly from logistic regression models in the complex sample survey setting to yield population-based inferences. Complex sample survey designs typically involve some combination of weighting, stratification, multistage sampling, clustering, and perhaps finite population adjustments. Point estimates of model-adjusted risks, risk differences, and risk ratios are obtained from average marginal predictions in the fitted logistic regression model. The model can contain both continuous and categorical covariates, as well as interaction terms. The authors use the SUDAAN software package (Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) to obtain point estimates, standard errors (via linearization or a replication method), confidence intervals, and P values for the parameters and contrasts of interest. Data from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey are used to illustrate these concepts.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Logistic Models*
  • Odds Ratio*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Software