Biostatistics. 2023 Oct 26:kxad029. doi: 10.1093/biostatistics/kxad029. Online ahead of print.
The tree-based scan statistic is a data mining method used to identify signals of adverse drug reactions in a database of spontaneous reporting systems. It is particularly beneficial when dealing with hierarchical data structures. One may use a retrospective case-control study design from spontaneous reporting systems (SRS) to investigate whether a specific adverse event of interest is associated with certain drugs. However, the existing Bernoulli model of the tree-based scan statistic may not be suitable as it fails to adequately account for dependencies within matched pairs. In this article, we propose signal detection statistics for matched case-control data based on McNemar’s test, Wald test for conditional logistic regression, and the likelihood ratio test for a multinomial distribution. Through simulation studies, we demonstrate that our proposed methods outperform the existing approach in terms of the type I error rate, power, sensitivity, and false detection rate. To illustrate our proposed approach, we applied the three methods and the existing method to detect drug signals for dizziness-related adverse events related to antihypertensive drugs using the database of the Korea Adverse Event Reporting System.