Social epidemiologists often seek to determine mechanisms that underlie health disparities using mediation procedures that may not be justified with exposures of common interest. In this presentation, Dr. Naimi will explore the consequences of using standard approaches, referred to as the difference and generalized product methods, when mediator-outcome confounders are associated with the exposure. He will compare these with inverse probability-weighted marginal structural models, the structural transformation method, doubly robust g-estimation of a structural nested model, and doubly robust targeted minimum loss-based estimation. Dr. Naimi and colleagues used data on births from 2003 to 2007 in the Penn Moms study to assess the extent to which breastfeeding prior to hospital discharge explained the racial disparity in infant mortality. He will use this data to show how standard approaches for mediation analysis in health disparities research can yield misleading results.
Ashley Naimi, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology
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