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For the calculation of relative measures such as risk ratio (RR) and odds ratio (OR) in a single study, additional approaches are required for the case of zero events. In the case of zero events in one treatment arm, the Peto odds ratio (POR) can be calculated without continuity correction, and is currently the relative effect estimation method of choice for binary data with rare events. The aim of this simulation study is a variegated comparison of the estimated OR and estimated POR with the true OR in a single study with two parallel groups without confounders in data situations where the POR is currently recommended. This comparison was performed by means of several performance measures, that is the coverage, confidence interval (CI) width, mean squared error (MSE), and mean percentage error (MPE). We demonstrated that the estimator for the POR does not outperform the estimator for the OR for all the performance measures investigated. In the case of rare events, small treatment effects and similar group sizes, we demonstrated that the estimator for the POR performed better than the estimator for the OR only regarding the coverage and MPE, but not the CI width and MSE. For larger effects and unbalanced group size ratios, the coverage and MPE of the estimator for the POR were inappropriate. As in practice the true effect is unknown, the POR method should be applied only with the utmost caution. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


A Catharina Brockhaus, Ulrich Grouven, Ralf Bender. Performance of the Peto odds ratio compared to the usual odds ratio estimator in the case of rare events. Biometrical journal. Biometrische Zeitschrift. 2016 Nov;58(6):1428-1444

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PMID: 27546483

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