|Title: ||A non-parametric framework for estimating threshold limit values|
|Authors: ||Salanti, Georgia|
|Issue Date: ||7-Nov-2005|
|Abstract: ||Abstract Background To estimate a threshold limit value for a compound known to have harmful health effects, an 'elbow' threshold model is usually applied. We are interested on non-parametric flexible alternatives. Methods We describe how a step function model fitted by isotonic regression can be used to estimate threshold limit values. This method returns a set of candidate locations, and we discuss two algorithms to select the threshold among them: the reduced isotonic regression and an algorithm considering the closed family of hypotheses. We assess the performance of these two alternative approaches under different scenarios in a simulation study. We illustrate the framework by analysing the data from a study conducted by the German Research Foundation aiming to set a threshold limit value in the exposure to total dust at workplace, as a causal agent for developing chronic bronchitis. Results In the paper we demonstrate the use and the properties of the proposed methodology along with the results from an application. The method appears to detect the threshold with satisfactory success. However, its performance can be compromised by the low power to reject the constant risk assumption when the true dose-response relationship is weak. Conclusion The estimation of thresholds based on isotonic framework is conceptually simple and sufficiently powerful. Given that in threshold value estimation context there is not a gold standard method, the proposed model provides a useful non-parametric alternative to the standard approaches and can corroborate or challenge their findings.|
|Description: ||RIGHTS : This article is licensed under the BioMed Central licence at http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/license which is similar to the 'Creative Commons Attribution Licence'. In brief you may : copy, distribute, and display the work; make derivative works; or make commercial use of the work - under the following conditions: the original author must be given credit; for any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are.|
|Other Identifiers: ||http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-5-36|
|Appears in Collections:||Caa-BioMed - No Cambridge University Affiliation|
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