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J Am Stat Assoc. 2011 Jan 1;106(494):569-580. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Non-parametric Evaluation of Biomarker Accuracy under Nested Case-control Studies.

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Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA.


To evaluate the clinical utility of new risk markers, a crucial step is to measure their predictive accuracy with prospective studies. However, it is often infeasible to obtain marker values for all study participants. The nested case-control (NCC) design is a useful cost-effective strategy for such settings. Under the NCC design, markers are only ascertained for cases and a fraction of controls sampled randomly from the risk sets. The outcome dependent sampling generates a complex data structure and therefore a challenge for analysis. Existing methods for analyzing NCC studies focus primarily on association measures. Here, we propose a class of non-parametric estimators for commonly used accuracy measures. We derived asymptotic expansions for accuracy estimators based on both finite population and Bernoulli sampling and established asymptotic equivalence between the two. Simulation results suggest that the proposed procedures perform well in finite samples. The new procedures were illustrated with data from the Framingham Offspring study.

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