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Adjusting for a causal intermediate is a common analytic strategy for estimating an average causal direct effect (ACDE). The ACDE is the component of the total exposure effect that is not relayed through the specified intermediate. Even if the total effect is unconfounded, the usual ACDE estimate may be biased when an unmeasured variable affects the(More)
BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic research is often devoted to etiologic investigation, and so techniques that may facilitate mechanistic inferences are attractive. Some of these techniques rely on rigid and/or unrealistic assumptions, making the biologic inferences tenuous. The methodology investigated here is effect decomposition: the contrast between effect(More)
Recent studies suggest that obesity may be "contagious" between individuals in social networks. Social contagion (influence), however, may not be identifiable using traditional statistical approaches because they cannot distinguish contagion from homophily (the propensity for individuals to select friends who are similar to themselves) or from shared(More)
POLICYFORUM A t least two dozen companies now market " genetic ancestry tests " to help consumers reconstruct their family histories and determine the geographic origins of their ancestors. More than 460,000 people have purchased these tests over the past 6 years (1), and public interest is still skyrocketing (1–4). Some scientists support this enterprise(More)
BACKGROUND A relatively consistent body of research supports an inverse graded relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). More recently, researchers have proposed various life course SES hypotheses, which posit that the combination, accumulation, and/or interactions of different environments and experiences throughout(More)
Census data are widely used for assessing neighborhood socioeconomic context. Research using census data has been inconsistent in variable choice and usually limited to single geographic areas. This paper seeks to a) outline a process for developing a neighborhood deprivation index using principal components analysis and b) demonstrate an example of its(More)