Adequate sample size for developing prediction models is not simply related to events per variable

Ogundimu, Emmanuel, Altman, Douglas and Collins, Gary (2016) Adequate sample size for developing prediction models is not simply related to events per variable. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 76. pp. 175-182. ISSN 0895-4356

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.02.031

Abstract

Objectives - The choice of an adequate sample size for a Cox regression analysis is generally based on the rule of thumb derived from simulation studies of a minimum of 10 events per variable (EPV). One simulation study suggested scenarios in which the 10 EPV rule can be relaxed. The effect of a range of binary predictors with varying prevalence, reflecting clinical practice, has not yet been fully investigated.

Study Design and Setting - We conducted an extended resampling study using a large general-practice data set, comprising over 2 million anonymized patient records, to examine the EPV requirements for prediction models with low-prevalence binary predictors developed using Cox regression. The performance of the models was then evaluated using an independent external validation data set. We investigated both fully specified models and models derived using variable selection.

Results - Our results indicated that an EPV rule of thumb should be data driven and that EPV ≥ 20 ​ generally eliminates bias in regression coefficients when many low-prevalence predictors are included in a Cox model.

Conclusion - Higher EPV is needed when low-prevalence predictors are present in a model to eliminate bias in regression coefficients and improve predictive accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Events per variable, Cox model, External validation, Predictive modeling, Sample size, Resampling study
Subjects: G300 Statistics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 09:01
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 11:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/34648

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