After tackling the z-score:percentile issue, I thought it might be interesting to graph how different z-score equations look in this light. Here is what I derived as the cumulative density function for the aortic valve z-score (1.0 m2; male) using data published from Boston, Wessex, Cincinnati, and Detroit:
I think that because I have explained z-scores to our students and fellows so many times, and made use of my own roughly drawn bell-shaped curve, this next depiction of the probability density function highlights the differences most strikingly for me:
The mean (50th percentile) of the Wessex data is clearly and importantly different than the others... and only the Cincinnati data demonstrates an appreciable degree of skewness, with a long right tail. Of course, none of the investigators mention how they tested for skewness (mean/median/mode?).
(This post is an elaboration of an earlier comparison of different published z-score equations that graphically depicted the predicted mean values of the aortic valve annulus.)
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