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Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Oct;132(4):746-8.

Does nondifferential misclassification of exposure always bias a true effect toward the null value?

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  • 1Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD 20892.


The authors present some examples to demonstrate that in certain nondifferential misclassification conditions with polychotomous exposure variables, estimates of odds ratios for categories at intermediate level of risk can be biased away from the null or can change direction. In addition, the authors present two examples to demonstrate that the slope of the dose-response trend for the true distributions can change direction, creating a false inverse trend, even if the misclassification is nondifferential.

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