Residual confounding after adjustment for age: a minor issue in breast cancer screening effectiveness

Eur J Epidemiol. 2011 Aug;26(8):585-8. doi: 10.1007/s10654-011-9584-3. Epub 2011 Apr 26.


Residual confounding, after adjustment for age, is the major criticism of observational studies on breast cancer screening effectiveness. We developed realistic scenarios for the prevalence and strength of risk factors on screened and not screened groups, and explored the impact of residual confounding bias. Our results demonstrate that residual confounding bias is a minor issue in screening programme evaluations.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • National Health Programs
  • Netherlands
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors