versão On-line ISSN 1851-8265
SILVA AYCAGUER, Luis Carlos. A statistical ceremony to identify risk factors. Salud Colectiva [online]. 2005, vol.1, n.3, pp. 309-322. ISSN 1851-8265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1851-82652005000300004.
What could be labeled as "risk factors hunt" has been taken place along the last years in epidemiological research. The historical context and conditions under which it has been developed are sketched on outline. Among other problems, a tangible tendency to face risk factors identification using a statistical ceremony has been taken place. It is pretty close to a caricature that, most of the time, is clearly deceptive, since does not lead us to achieve the research aims: to obtain new knowledge or a better understanding of health processes. Such a ritual is characterized and its steps are critically examined. An exhaustive discussion of their methodological fragility is exposed and its employment is thoroughly illustrated.
Palavras-chave : Risk Factors; Logistic Regression; Stepwise Regression; Prediction; Confounders.