Dealing with unknown dependencies between variables

#1
Hi!

I have a system where I'm studying 3 different diseases, however they share some pathological similarities. There is no data on them being similar in the properties that I am studying, but of course it cannot be ruled out that the three will share that specific characteristic. So, in this situation should I consider the three diseases to be independent? Or should I assume dependency for the sake of statistical analisys? Is there any rule of thumb in this situation?

Thanks!
 

hlsmith

Omega Contributor
#3
Yes, it would help if you provided some context of what you are trying to do or control for so we better understand. What are your outcomes and covariates: disease and bioassays/biomarkers?