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Activity Number: 455
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Bayesian Statistical Science
Abstract - #307010
Title: Causal Inference in Epidemiology Using Bayesian Methods: The Example of Meta-Analysis of Statins and Fracture Risk
Author(s): Lawrence C. McCandless*+
Companies: Simon Fraser University
Keywords: Bayesian analysis ; causal inference ; meta-analysis

Numerous epidemiologic studies indicate that statin use reduces the risk of fractures in the elderly. However, a causal relationship is not supported by data from randomized trials. Healthy user bias is implicated as a likely culprit for the controversy. It is a type of unmeasured confounding that results from failure to measure and adjust for patient-level tendencies to engage in healthy behaviours (e.g. use of alcohol and tobacco). In this talk, I will summarize the evidence supporting an association between statins and fractures, and then explore sensitivity to bias from confounding using Bayesian techniques. I will draw parallels with bias modelling in observational studies, and discuss prior elicitation, nonidentifiability and Bayesian computation.

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