Trend tests for the evaluation of exposure-response relationships in epidemiological exposure studies

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Abstract

One possibility for the statistical evaluation of trends in epidemiological exposure studies is the use of a trend test for data organized in a 2 × k contingency table. Commonly, the exposure data are naturally grouped or continuous exposure data are appropriately categorized. The trend test should be sensitive to any shape of the exposure-response relationship. Commonly, a global trend test only determines whether there is a trend or not. Once a trend is seen it is important to identify the likely shape of the exposure-response relationship. This paper introduces a best contrast approach and an alternative approach based on order-restricted information criteria for the model selection of a particular exposure-response relationship. For the simple change point alternative H1 : 1 =.= q <q+1 =. = k an appropriate approach for the identification of a global trend as well as for the most likely shape of that exposure-response relationship is characterized by simulation and demonstrated for real data examples. Power and simultaneous confidence intervals can be estimated as well. If the conditions are fulfilled to transform the exposure-response data into a 2 × k table, a simple approach for identification of a global trend and its elementary shape is available for epidemiologists. © 2009 Hothorn et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Hothorn, L. A., Vaeth, M., & Hothorn, T. (2009). Trend tests for the evaluation of exposure-response relationships in epidemiological exposure studies. Epidemiologic Perspectives and Innovations, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-5573-6-1

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