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Keywords:

  • Attributable risk/mortality;
  • Multistate models;
  • Proportional hazard model;
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia

Attributable risk has become an important concept in clinical epidemiology. In this paper, we suggest to estimate the attributable risk of nosocomial infections using a multistate approach. Recently, a multistate model (called progressive disability model in the literature) has been developed in order to take into consideration both the time-dependency of the risk factor (e.g., nosocomial infections) and the presence of competing risks (e.g., death and discharge) at each time point. However, this approach does not take into account the possible heterogeneity of the study population. In this paper, we investigate an extension of this model and suggest an adjusted disability multistate model including covariates in each transition. This new multistate model has led us to define the concepts of overall and profiled attributable risk. We use a classical semiparametric approach to estimate the model and the new attributable risk. A simulation study is investigated and we show, in particular, that neglecting the presence of covariates when estimating the model can lead to an important bias. The methodology developed in this paper is applied to data on ventilator-associated pneumonia in 12 French intensive care units.