Using Kendall's tau b correlations to improve variable selection methods in case-control studies

Biometrics. 1995 Dec;51(4):1451-60.


In this manuscript we evaluate the performance of a variable selection procedure that could be used in case-control studies. This method is based on selection statistics computed from a matrix of Kendall tau b correlation coefficients. A simulation study was performed to compare the performance of this method to logistic regression, discriminant analysis, and the rank-transformed versions of these methods. For most of the situations studied the method based on Kendall tau b correlation coefficients correctly selected the variables that were related to case-control status more often than any of the other methods. We discuss the implications of the results of this study for epidemiologic research.

MeSH terms

  • Biometry / methods*
  • Case-Control Studies*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology