chapter  7
Logistic Regression and Generalised Linear Models: Blood Screening, Women’s Role in Society, Colonic Polyps, and Driving and Back Pain
Pages 22

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is the rate at which red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle out of suspension in blood plasma, when measured under standard conditions. If the ESR increases when the level of certain proteins in the blood plasma rise in association with conditions such as rheumatic diseases, chronic infections and malignant diseases, its determination might be useful in screening blood samples taken from people suspected of suffering from one of the conditions mentioned. The absolute value of the ESR is not of great importance; rather, less than 20mm/hr indicates a ‘healthy’ individual. To assess whether the ESR is a useful diagnostic tool, Collett and Jemain (1985) collected the data shown in Table 7.1. The question of interest is whether there is any association between the probability of an ESR reading greater than 20mm/hr and the levels of the two plasma proteins. If there is not then the determination of ESR would not be useful for diagnostic purposes.