Psychological patterns and coronary heart disease: An appraisal of the determination of etiology by means of a stochastic process

Michel Ibrahim, David L. Sackett, Seymour Kantor, Warren Winkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The question of whether a selected psychological pattern precedes or follows the onset of coronary heart disease has served as a vehicle for a discussion of the fundamental issue, namely, the ability to draw causal inferences from observed associations in cross-sectional studies. The possibility of an independent contribution of the psychological pattern to the development of coronary disease, hence a possible etiological role, has been clarified and its implications have been illustrated. The crucial distinctions between "predictive" and "etiologic" stochastic models have been reviewed. When such models are used to predict phenomena, the validity of their underlying assumptions is not mandatory. However, when stochastic models are used to explore etiologic relationships, their value depends on the validity of the underlying assumptions. In addition, the users of formal mathematical models must exercise caution to avoid the pitfall of excluding relevant knowledge available from epidemiologic observation. To do so may prevent selection of the most likely inferences to explain particular causal mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-940
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chronic Diseases
Volume20
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 1967
Externally publishedYes

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Stochastic Processes
Coronary Disease
Psychology
Theoretical Models
Cross-Sectional Studies
Observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Psychological patterns and coronary heart disease : An appraisal of the determination of etiology by means of a stochastic process. / Ibrahim, Michel; Sackett, David L.; Kantor, Seymour; Winkelstein, Warren.

In: Journal of Chronic Diseases, Vol. 20, No. 11-12, 11.1967, p. 931-940.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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