Carl V. Phillips

Learn More
Austin Bradford Hill's landmark 1965 paper contains several important lessons for the current conduct of epidemiology. Unfortunately, it is almost exclusively cited as the source of the "Bradford-Hill criteria" for inferring causation when association is observed, despite Hill's explicit statement that cause-effect decisions cannot be based on a set of(More)
Two persistent myths in epidemiology are that we can use a list of "causal criteria" to provide an algorithmic approach to inferring causation and that a modern "counterfactual model" can assist in the same endeavor. We argue that these are neither criteria nor a model, but that lists of causal considerations and formalizations of the counterfactual(More)
BACKGROUND Africa is in an orphan-care crisis. In Zimbabwe, where one-fourth of adults are HIV-positive and one-fifth of children are orphans, AIDS and economic decline are straining society's ability to care for orphans within their extended families. Lack of stable care is putting thousands of children at heightened risk of malnourishment, emotional(More)
BACKGROUND Publication bias, as typically defined, refers to the decreased likelihood of studies' results being published when they are near the null, not statistically significant, or otherwise "less interesting." But choices about how to analyze the data and which results to report create a publication bias within the published results, a bias I label(More)
BACKGROUND Although smokeless tobacco (ST) use has played a major role in the low smoking prevalence among Swedish men, there is little information at the population level about ST as a smoking cessation aid in the U.S. METHODS We used the 2000 National Health Interview Survey to derive population estimates for the number of smokers who had tried twelve(More)
BACKGROUND All quantifications of mortality, morbidity, and other health measures involve numerous sources of error. The routine quantification of random sampling error makes it easy to forget that other sources of error can and should be quantified. When a quantification does not involve sampling, error is almost never quantified and results are often(More)
OBJECTIVES Cross-sectional studies suggest that Helicobacter pylori may be transmitted between siblings. The present study aimed to estimate the effect of an H pylori-infected sibling on the establishment of a persistent H pylori infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS The authors used data collected from a Texas-Mexico border population from 1998 to 2005 (the(More)
In 2004, Garcia-Berthou and Alcaraz published "Incongruence between test statistics and P values in medical papers," a critique of statistical errors that received a tremendous amount of attention. One of their observations was that the final reported digit of p-values in articles published in the journal Nature departed substantially from the uniform(More)
It is often claimed that low-risk drugs still create harm because of "gateway effects", in which they cause the use of a high-risk alternative. Such claims are popular among opponents of tobacco harm reduction, claiming that low-risk tobacco products (e.g., e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco) cause people to start smoking, sometimes backed by empirical studies(More)