Dr. Miller, a statistician, and Drs. Reardon and Safi, both thoracic
surgeons, have written this book to be an overview of the process of
risk stratification. This is not limited to a discussion of statistical
software or logistical regression modeling. The authors have done a
good job of reviewing the major factors that are vital to the
success of risk-stratification projects, including variable selection,
data collection, and the selection of appropriate reference
populations. They also demonstrate how risk stratification, which is
focused on estimating event rates, differs from most clinical analyses,
which are usually focused on treatment efficacy or disease causality.
In risk stratification, it is the provider or the patient population
that is being assessed, not the treatment. Almost all of the examples
and figures in the text are drawn from the literature on coronary
artery bypass complication rates, although the methods discussed
are applicable to just about any intervention and medical outcome.