Relative risk estimated from the ratio of two median unbiased estimates


Rickey E. Carter, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street South West, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Summary.  Clinical trials often include binary end points. In some cases, no successes are observed and the usual large sample estimates of relative risk are undefined. The paper proposes an estimator for relative risk based on the median unbiased estimator. The relative risk estimator proposed is well defined and performs satisfactorily for a wide range of data configurations. To facilitate the use of the estimator, a deterministic bootstrap confidence interval is also proposed, and an SAS macro is available to perform the necessary calculations. An on-going randomized clinical trial motivated the development of the estimator and is used to illustrate the approach.