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Introduction to Confounding

  • Bryan Kestenbaum
Chapter

Learning Objectives

  1. 1.

    Confounding is an important limitation of observational studies.

     
  2. 2.

    Confounding alters the interpretation of study results, obscuring whether the exposure is a cause of the outcome.

     
  3. 3.
    A confounder is classically defined as a factor that is:
    1. a.

      associated with the exposure,

       
    2. b.

      associated with the outcome, and

       
    3. c.

      not in the causal pathway of association.

       
     
  4. 4.

    Study data are used to judge whether a potential confounder is associated with the exposure and the outcome.

     
  5. 5.

    Biological and clinical knowledge are used to judge whether a potential confounder is in the causal pathway of association.

     
  6. 6.

    Confounding-by-indication occurs when the specific indication for a medication confounds the association between the use of that medication and the study outcome.

     

Keywords

Potential Confounder Loop Diuretic Causal Pathway Mast Cell Degranulation Acute Bronchitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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    Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, et al. Dietary fat intake and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med. Nov 20 1997;337(21):1491–1499.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 39.
    Psaty BM, Koepsell TD, Lin D, et al. Assessment and control for confounding by indication in observational studies. J Am Geriatr Soc. Jun 1999;47(6):749–754.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 40.
    Mehta RL, Pascual MT, Soroko S, Chertow GM. Diuretics, mortality, and nonrecovery of renal function in acute renal failure. JAMA. Nov 27 2002;288(20):2547–2553.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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