The effect of record linkage errors on statistical inference in cohort mortality studies - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 11-522-X20010016277


This paper discusses in detail issues dealing with the technical aspects of designing and conducting surveys. It is intended for an audience of survey methodologists.

The advent of computerized record-linkage methodology has facilitated the conduct of cohort mortality studies in which exposure data in one database are electronically linked with mortality data from another database. In this article, the impact of linkage errors on estimates of epidemiological indicators of risk, such as standardized mortality ratios and relative risk regression model parameters, is explored. It is shown that these indicators can be subject to bias and additional variability in the presence of linkage errors, with false links and non-links leading to positive and negative bias, respectively, in estimates of the standardized mortality ratio. Although linkage errors always increase the uncertainty in the estimates, bias can be effectively eliminated in the special case in which the false positive rate equals the false negative rate within homogeneous states defined by cross-classification of the covariates of interest.

Issue Number: 2001001
Author(s): Bartlett, S.; Krewski, Daniel; Mallick, R.; Wang, Y.; Zielinski, J.M.
FormatRelease dateMore information
CD-ROMSeptember 12, 2002
PDFSeptember 12, 2002