Relative risk estimated from the ratio of two median unbiased estimates

Rickey E. Carter, Yan Lin, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Robert G. Newcombe, Kathie L. Hermayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Summary: Clinical trials often include binary end points. In some cases, no successes are observed and the usual large sample estimates of relative risk are undefined. The paper proposes an estimator for relative risk based on the median unbiased estimator. The relative risk estimator proposed is well defined and performs satisfactorily for a wide range of data configurations. To facilitate the use of the estimator, a deterministic bootstrap confidence interval is also proposed, and an SAS macro is available to perform the necessary calculations. An on-going randomized clinical trial motivated the development of the estimator and is used to illustrate the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-671
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series C: Applied Statistics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Binomial distribution
  • Confidence interval
  • Coverage probability
  • Median unbiased estimator
  • Relative risk
  • Shrinkage estimator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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