Multivariate or multivariable regression?

Am J Public Health. 2013 Jan;103(1):39-40. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300897. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


The terms multivariate and multivariable are often used interchangeably in the public health literature. However, these terms actually represent 2 very distinct types of analyses. We define the 2 types of analysis and assess the prevalence of use of the statistical term multivariate in a 1-year span of articles published in the American Journal of Public Health. Our goal is to make a clear distinction and to identify the nuances that make these types of analyses so distinct from one another.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Public Health
  • Regression Analysis*