Epidemiological methods for studying genes and environmental factors in complex diseases

Clayton, D; McKeigue, PM; (2001) Epidemiological methods for studying genes and environmental factors in complex diseases. Lancet, 358 (9290). pp. 1356-60. ISSN 0140-6736 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06418-2

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Exploration of the human genome presents new challenges and opportunities for epidemiological research. Although the case-control design is quicker and cheaper for study of associations between genotype and risk of disease than the cohort design, cohort studies have been recommended because they can be used to study gene-environment interactions. Although the scientific relevance of statistical interaction is pertinent, the main disadvantage of the case-control design-susceptibility to bias when estimating effects of exposures that are measured retrospectively-does not necessarily apply when studying statistical interaction between genotype and environmental exposure. Because correctly designed genetic association studies are equivalent to randomised comparisons between genotypes, conclusions about cause can be drawn from genetic associations even when the risk ratio is modest. For adequate statistical power to detect such modest risk ratios, the case-control design is more feasible than the cohort design.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, risk, populations, diet, Case-Control Studies, Environmental Exposure, Epidemiology, Female, Genetics, Medical, Genotype, Human, Research, methods, Risk Factors, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S., Venous Thrombosis, etiology
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 11684236
Web of Science ID: 171702500033
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/16786


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