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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

versão On-line ISSN 1678-4464

Resumo

CORTES, Taísa Rodrigues; FAERSTEIN, Eduardo  e  STRUCHINER, Claudio José. Use of causal diagrams in Epidemiology: application to a situation with confounding. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2016, vol.32, n.8, e00103115.  Epub 08-Ago-2016. ISSN 1678-4464.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-311X00103115.

Epidemiological research still rarely uses causal diagrams, despite growing recognition of their explanatory potential. One possible reason is that many research programs involve themes in which there is a certain degree of uncertainty as to mechanisms in the processes that generate the data. In this study, the relationship between occupational stress and obesity is used as an example of the application of causal diagrams to questions related to confounding. The article presents the selection stages for variables in statistical adjustment and the derivation of a causal diagram's statistical implications. The main advantage of causal diagrams is that they explicitly reveal the respective model's underlying hypotheses, allowing critical analysis of the implications and thereby facilitating identification of sources of bias and uncertainty in the epidemiological study's results.

Palavras-chave : Causality; Epidemiologic Methods; Bias (Epidemiology); Statistical Models.

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