Journal Article

Performance of Floating Absolute Risks

Patrick G. Arbogast

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 5, pages 487-490
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Performance of Floating Absolute Risks

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A recent investigation of hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk used a method called “floating absolute risks” (FARs) to compute confidence intervals for relative hazards. This method has been used in other medical studies and has received controversy. This controversy stems from the correct implementation of this method. However, there has been no direct comparison of the FAR method, as it is sometimes incorrectly applied and reported, with the conventional approach for computing confidence intervals from proportional hazards regression. In this paper, the author reports simulation results comparing these two methods and demonstrates that the FAR method, when applied incorrectly, can produce confidence intervals that are substantially too narrow.

Keywords: confidence intervals; epidemiologic methods; hazard rate; proportional hazards models; regression; relative risk; survival analysis; FAR, floating absolute risk; SEE, standard error estimate

Journal Article.  2415 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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