Measurement error in the explanatory variable of a binary regression: regression calibration and integrated conditional likelihood in studies of residential radon and lung cancer.
Fearn T., Hill DC., Darby SC.
In epidemiology, one approach to investigating the dependence of disease risk on an explanatory variable in the presence of several confounding variables is by fitting a binary regression using a conditional likelihood, thus eliminating the nuisance parameters. When the explanatory variable is measured with error, the estimated regression coefficient is biased usually towards zero. Motivated by the need to correct for this bias in analyses that combine data from a number of case-control studies of lung cancer risk associated with exposure to residential radon, two approaches are investigated. Both employ the conditional distribution of the true explanatory variable given the measured one. The method of regression calibration uses the expected value of the true given measured variable as the covariate. The second approach integrates the conditional likelihood numerically by sampling from the distribution of the true given measured explanatory variable. The two approaches give very similar point estimates and confidence intervals not only for the motivating example but also for an artificial data set with known properties. These results and some further simulations that demonstrate correct coverage for the confidence intervals suggest that for studies of residential radon and lung cancer the regression calibration approach will perform very well, so that nothing more sophisticated is needed to correct for measurement error.