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Adjusting for covariate effects on classification accuracy using the covariate-adjusted receiver operating characteristic curve.

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Biometrika. 2009 Jun 96 (2).

Recent scientific and technological innovations have produced an abundance of potential markers that are being investigated for their use in disease screening and diagnosis. In evaluating these markers, it is often necessary to account for covariates associated with the marker of interest. Covariates may include subject characteristics, expertise of the test operator, test procedures or aspects of specimen handling. In this paper, we propose the covariate-adjusted receiver operating characteristic curve, a measure of covariate-adjusted classification accuracy. Nonparametric and semiparametric estimators are proposed, asymptotic distribution theory is provided and finite sample performance is investigated. For illustration we characterize the age-adjusted discriminatory accuracy of prostate-specific antigen as a biomarker for prostate cancer.

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