There is still substantial confusion in the radiation effects community about the inherent limitations of ecologic analysis.
As a result, inordinate attention has been given to the discrepant results of Cohen, in which a negative estimate is observed for the regression of county mortality rates for lung cancer on estimated county radon levels.
This paper demonstrates that Cohen's ecologic analysis cannot produce valid inference on the exposure-response relationship for individuals unless lung cancer risk factors (smoking, age, occupation, etc.) for individuals are statistically uncorrelated with indoor radon level within counties or unless risk effects for radon and other factors are additive.
Both of these assumptions are contradicted in the literature.
Thus, contrary to common assumption, when a linear no-threshold model is the true model for radon risk for individuals, higher average radon concentration for a county does not necessarily imply a higher lung cancer rate for the county.
In addition, valid inference from county-level ecologic analysis and the elimination of the ecologic bias cannot be achieved with the addition of county-wide summary variables (including « stratification » variables) to the regression equation. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Epidémiologie, Radon, Carcinome, Bronchopulmonaire, Homme, Milieu écologique, Régression, Appareil respiratoire pathologie, Poumon pathologie, Bronche pathologie, Tumeur maligne
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Epidemiology, Radon, Carcinoma, Bronchopulmonary, Human, Ecological environment, Regression, Respiratory disease, Lung disease, Bronchus disease, Malignant tumor
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0310021
Code Inist : 002B30A02A. Création : 27/11/1998.