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Example: Intermediate Variable - CAD

Lead Author(s): Jeff Martin, MD

Is HDL a Confounder or an Intermediary?

We are looking at the relationship between exercise and CAD, What is the pathway under investigation?

Intermediary Variable: On Pathway - No Adjustment

If you do not care about the exact pathway or you are only thinking about one pathway by which exercise can influence the development of heart disease, and HDL was right in the middle of this pathway,


Confounding Variable: Another Pathway - Adjust for HDL

If interest is in a pathway other than through HDL,
  • then HDL is a confounder and we want to control for it.

  • Therefore, HDL is extraneous to pathway under study
  • Confounding factors are extraneous factors

Topic revision: r3 - 11 Jun 2009 - 15:16:06 - MaryB?

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