Canadian Journal of Statistics

Measurement error modeling and nutritional epidemiology association analyses

Journal Article


This article summarizes the results of a Nutrient Biomarker Study in the Women's Health Initiative, and its application to studies of the association between energy and protein consumption and the risk of major cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The presentation emphasizes measurement error modeling and related data analysis methods, since addressing measurement issues appears to be central to these topics and to progress in nutritional epidemiology more generally. The manner in which body mass index is modeled in disease association analysis is particularly challenging, since it could serve as a mediator or as a confounder of the association, and at the same time contributes valuably to energy and protein consumption assessment. A hazard ratio parameter estimation procedure that acknowledges body mass index as a possible mediating variable is described and applied. Some aspects of the future nutritional epidemiology research agenda are briefly discussed, including an ongoing human feeding study to develop biomarkers for additional dietary components. The Canadian Journal of Statistics 39: 498–509; 2011 © 2011 Statistical Society of Canada

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