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Accid Anal Prev. 2003 Jan;35(1):3-8.

The use of generalized estimating equations in the analysis of motor vehicle crash data.

Author information

1
Intermountain Injury Control Research Center, School of Medicine, University of Utah, 615 Arapeen Drive, Suite 202, 84108, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA. caroline.hutchings@hsc.utah.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if it is necessary to use generalized estimating equations (GEEs) in the analysis of seat belt effectiveness in preventing injuries in motor vehicle crashes. The 1992 Utah crash dataset was used, excluding crash participants where seat belt use was not appropriate (n=93,633). The model used in the 1996 Report to Congress [Report to congress on benefits of safety belts and motorcycle helmets, based on data from the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES). National Center for Statistics and Analysis, NHTSA, Washington, DC, February 1996] was analyzed for all occupants with logistic regression, one level of nesting (occupants within crashes), and two levels of nesting (occupants within vehicles within crashes) to compare the use of GEEs with logistic regression. When using one level of nesting compared to logistic regression, 13 of 16 variance estimates changed more than 10%, and eight of 16 parameter estimates changed more than 10%. In addition, three of the independent variables changed from significant to insignificant (alpha=0.05). With the use of two levels of nesting, two of 16 variance estimates and three of 16 parameter estimates changed more than 10% from the variance and parameter estimates in one level of nesting. One of the independent variables changed from insignificant to significant (alpha=0.05) in the two levels of nesting model; therefore, only two of the independent variables changed from significant to insignificant when the logistic regression model was compared to the two levels of nesting model. The odds ratio of seat belt effectiveness in preventing injuries was 12% lower when a one-level nested model was used. Based on these results, we stress the need to use a nested model and GEEs when analyzing motor vehicle crash data.

PMID:
12479892
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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