Document Detail

A comparison of statistical methods for combining event rates from clinical trials.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2704896     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We compare two statistical methods for combining event rates from several studies. Both methods treat each study as a separate stratum. The Peto-modified Mantel-Haenszel (Peto) method estimates a combined odds ratio assuming homogeneity across strata and provides a test for heterogeneity. The DerSimonian and Laird modified Cochran method (D&L) produces a weighted average of rate differences, where the weights allow for among-study variability. We analyse 22 meta-analyses from ten reports by both methods. The pooled estimates are divided by their standard errors to produce a Z-statistic. A t-test comparing Z-statistics from all 22 studies suggests that the D&L method tends to be more conservative [d(Peto - D&L) = 0.29, t = 2.53, p = 0.02]. For a subset of 14 non-heterogeneous studies, the difference is smaller and non-significant (d = 0.09, t = 0.72, p = 0.49). The results from the methods correlate well (r = 0.66 for all 22 studies, r = 0.95 for 14 non-heterogeneous studies). Thus, the presence of heterogeneity influences our conclusion. We discuss the statistical and scientific implications of these findings.
J A Berlin; N M Laird; H S Sacks; T C Chalmers
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Statistics in medicine     Volume:  8     ISSN:  0277-6715     ISO Abbreviation:  Stat Med     Publication Date:  1989 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-05-16     Completed Date:  1989-05-16     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8215016     Medline TA:  Stat Med     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  141-51     Citation Subset:  IM    
New England Research Institute, Watertown, MA 02172.
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MeSH Terms
Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
Data Interpretation, Statistical*
Meta-Analysis as Topic*
Grant Support

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