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Stat Med. 1997 Dec 30;16(24):2785-803.

Simplified estimation of age-specific reference intervals for skewed data.

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Department of Medical Statistics and Evaluation, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, U.K.


Age-specific reference intervals are commonly used in medical screening and clinical practice, where interest lies in the detection of extreme values. Many different statistical approaches have been published on this topic. The advantages of a parametric method are that they necessarily produce smooth centile curves, the entire density is estimated and an explicit formula is available for the centiles. The method proposed here is a simplified version of a recent approach proposed by Royston and Wright. Basic transformations of the data and multiple regression techniques are combined to model the mean, standard deviation and skewness. Using these simple tools, which are implemented in almost all statistical computer packages, age-specific reference intervals may be obtained. The scope of the method is illustrated by fitting models to several real data sets and assessing each model using goodness-of-fit techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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