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Original Article Item non-response imputation in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Serhim Sonorcid , Hyemi Moonorcid , Hyonggin Anorcid
Epidemiol Health 2022;44e2022096-0
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022096
Published online: October 28, 2022
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Department of Biostatistics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author:  Hyonggin An,
Email: hyonggin@korea.ac.kr
Received: 16 May 2022   • Accepted: 28 October 2022
Serhim Son and Hyemi Moon contributed equally to this study as co-first authors.

The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) is a public health survey that assesses individuals’ health and nutritional status and monitors the prevalence of major chronic diseases. In general, sampling weights are adjusted for unit non-responses and imputation is conducted for item non-responses. In this study, we proposed strategies for imputing item non-responses in the KNHANES in order to improve the usefulness of data, minimize bias, and increase statistical power.
After applying logical imputation, we adopted 2 separate imputation methods for each variable type: unweighted sequential hot-deck imputation for categorical variables and sequential regression imputation for continuous variables. For variance estimation, multiple imputations were applied to the continuous variables. To evaluate the performance of the proposed strategies, we compared the marginal distributions of imputed variables and the results of multivariable regression analysis for the complete-case data and the expanded data with imputed values, respectively.
When comparing the marginal distributions, most non-responses were imputed. The multivariable regression coefficients presented similar estimates; however, the standard errors decreased, resulting in statistically significant p-values. The proposed imputation strategies may cope with the loss of precision due to missing data, thus enhancing statistical power in analyses of the KNHANES by providing expanded data with imputed values.
The proposed imputation strategy may enhance the utility of data by increasing the number of complete cases and reducing the bias in the analysis, thus laying a foundation to cope with the occurrence of item non-responses in further surveys.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health