6. Epidemiology

  1. Gerald van Belle

Published Online: 26 SEP 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470377963.ch6

Statistical Rules of Thumb, Second Edition

Statistical Rules of Thumb, Second Edition

How to Cite

van Belle, G. (2008) Epidemiology, in Statistical Rules of Thumb, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470377963.ch6

Author Information

  1. University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Seattle, WA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2008
  2. Published Print: 18 AUG 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470144480

Online ISBN: 9780470377963



  • epidemiology;
  • poisson;
  • surrogates;
  • relative risk;
  • exponential distribution


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Start with the Poisson to Model Incidence or Prevalence

  • The Odds Ratio Approximates the Relative Risk Assuming the Disease is Rare

  • The Number of Events is Crucial in Estimating Sample Sizes

  • Use a Logarithmic Formulation to Calculate Sample Size

  • Take No More than Four or Five Controls per Case

  • Obtain at Least Ten Subjects for Every Variable Investigated

  • Begin with the Exponential Distribution to Model Time to Event

  • Begin with Two Exponentials for Comparing Survival Times

  • Be Wary of Surrogates

  • Prevalence Dominates in Screening Rare Diseases

  • Do Not Dichotomize Unless Absolutely Necessary

  • Select an Additive or Multiplicative Model on the Basis of Mechanism of Action