Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes

R. R. Neutra, S. H. Swan, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, G. C. Windham, M. Wrensch, G. M. Shaw, L. Fenster, M. Deane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biases familiar to all epidemiologists take on new importance when studying spontaneous abortion because of the significance of the timing of exposure during gestation, and because the gestational age at which the pregnancy is recognized may be related to risk factors under study. In this paper, we systematically review the principal biases that might affect epidemiologic studies of pregnancy loss, in the context of a series of studies that found associations between adverse reproductive outcomes and prenatal use of tap or bottled water. These biases relate to availability of subjects for study, exposure opportunity, recall of exposure, recall of disease, and confounding. In one of the studies, the rate of bottled water use changed dramatically over the course of the study period, providing an opportunity to test indirectly for biased recall of exposure. We conclude that a less complete recall of water intake among women with normal pregnancies, as compared with those with spontaneous abortions, may have produced, or increased the magnitude of, the associations seen in these studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology
Volume3
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pregnancy Outcome
Epidemiologic Studies
Pregnancy
Spontaneous Abortion
Drinking Water
Drinking
Gestational Age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Neutra, R. R., Swan, S. H., Hertz-Picciotto, I., Windham, G. C., Wrensch, M., Shaw, G. M., ... Deane, M. (1992). Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes. Epidemiology, 3(2), 134-142.

Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes. / Neutra, R. R.; Swan, S. H.; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Windham, G. C.; Wrensch, M.; Shaw, G. M.; Fenster, L.; Deane, M.

In: Epidemiology, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1992, p. 134-142.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Neutra, RR, Swan, SH, Hertz-Picciotto, I, Windham, GC, Wrensch, M, Shaw, GM, Fenster, L & Deane, M 1992, 'Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes', Epidemiology, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 134-142.
Neutra, R. R. ; Swan, S. H. ; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva ; Windham, G. C. ; Wrensch, M. ; Shaw, G. M. ; Fenster, L. ; Deane, M. / Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes. In: Epidemiology. 1992 ; Vol. 3, No. 2. pp. 134-142.
@article{d12320b743aa4d9e8913bc8d177473f7,
title = "Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes",
abstract = "Biases familiar to all epidemiologists take on new importance when studying spontaneous abortion because of the significance of the timing of exposure during gestation, and because the gestational age at which the pregnancy is recognized may be related to risk factors under study. In this paper, we systematically review the principal biases that might affect epidemiologic studies of pregnancy loss, in the context of a series of studies that found associations between adverse reproductive outcomes and prenatal use of tap or bottled water. These biases relate to availability of subjects for study, exposure opportunity, recall of exposure, recall of disease, and confounding. In one of the studies, the rate of bottled water use changed dramatically over the course of the study period, providing an opportunity to test indirectly for biased recall of exposure. We conclude that a less complete recall of water intake among women with normal pregnancies, as compared with those with spontaneous abortions, may have produced, or increased the magnitude of, the associations seen in these studies.",
author = "Neutra, {R. R.} and Swan, {S. H.} and Irva Hertz-Picciotto and Windham, {G. C.} and M. Wrensch and Shaw, {G. M.} and L. Fenster and M. Deane",
year = "1992",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
pages = "134--142",
journal = "Epidemiology",
issn = "1044-3983",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Potential sources of bias and confounding in environmental epidemiologic studies of pregnancy outcomes

AU - Neutra, R. R.

AU - Swan, S. H.

AU - Hertz-Picciotto, Irva

AU - Windham, G. C.

AU - Wrensch, M.

AU - Shaw, G. M.

AU - Fenster, L.

AU - Deane, M.

PY - 1992

Y1 - 1992

N2 - Biases familiar to all epidemiologists take on new importance when studying spontaneous abortion because of the significance of the timing of exposure during gestation, and because the gestational age at which the pregnancy is recognized may be related to risk factors under study. In this paper, we systematically review the principal biases that might affect epidemiologic studies of pregnancy loss, in the context of a series of studies that found associations between adverse reproductive outcomes and prenatal use of tap or bottled water. These biases relate to availability of subjects for study, exposure opportunity, recall of exposure, recall of disease, and confounding. In one of the studies, the rate of bottled water use changed dramatically over the course of the study period, providing an opportunity to test indirectly for biased recall of exposure. We conclude that a less complete recall of water intake among women with normal pregnancies, as compared with those with spontaneous abortions, may have produced, or increased the magnitude of, the associations seen in these studies.

AB - Biases familiar to all epidemiologists take on new importance when studying spontaneous abortion because of the significance of the timing of exposure during gestation, and because the gestational age at which the pregnancy is recognized may be related to risk factors under study. In this paper, we systematically review the principal biases that might affect epidemiologic studies of pregnancy loss, in the context of a series of studies that found associations between adverse reproductive outcomes and prenatal use of tap or bottled water. These biases relate to availability of subjects for study, exposure opportunity, recall of exposure, recall of disease, and confounding. In one of the studies, the rate of bottled water use changed dramatically over the course of the study period, providing an opportunity to test indirectly for biased recall of exposure. We conclude that a less complete recall of water intake among women with normal pregnancies, as compared with those with spontaneous abortions, may have produced, or increased the magnitude of, the associations seen in these studies.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0026508497&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0026508497&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 134

EP - 142

JO - Epidemiology

JF - Epidemiology

SN - 1044-3983

IS - 2

ER -