We compare three methods which can be used to analyse the influence of birth order and other factors on health outcomes in multiple birth data. We consider marginal models based on generalized estimating equations (GEE) and two kinds of conditional models; conditional logistic regression (CLR) and mixed effects models (MEM). Although the models may be written similarly, there are differences in both the interpretation and the numerical values assigned to the parameters. Our main conclusion is that GEE and MEM are preferable to CLR since they provide more flexibility in dealing with missing values and covariates. The choice between GEE and MEM is less obvious and depends on the data, the parameter of interest and statistical power.
- Birth data
- Conditional logistic regression
- Generalized estimating equations
- Mixed effects models