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1.  Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies 56 bone mineral density loci and reveals 14 loci associated with risk of fracture 
Estrada, Karol | Styrkarsdottir, Unnur | Evangelou, Evangelos | Hsu, Yi-Hsiang | Duncan, Emma L | Ntzani, Evangelia E | Oei, Ling | Albagha, Omar M E | Amin, Najaf | Kemp, John P | Koller, Daniel L | Li, Guo | Liu, Ching-Ti | Minster, Ryan L | Moayyeri, Alireza | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Willner, Dana | Xiao, Su-Mei | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M | Zheng, Hou-Feng | Alonso, Nerea | Eriksson, Joel | Kammerer, Candace M | Kaptoge, Stephen K | Leo, Paul J | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Wilson, Scott G | Wilson, James F | Aalto, Ville | Alen, Markku | Aragaki, Aaron K | Aspelund, Thor | Center, Jacqueline R | Dailiana, Zoe | Duggan, David J | Garcia, Melissa | Garcia-Giralt, Natàlia | Giroux, Sylvie | Hallmans, Göran | Hocking, Lynne J | Husted, Lise Bjerre | Jameson, Karen A | Khusainova, Rita | Kim, Ghi Su | Kooperberg, Charles | Koromila, Theodora | Kruk, Marcin | Laaksonen, Marika | Lacroix, Andrea Z | Lee, Seung Hun | Leung, Ping C | Lewis, Joshua R | Masi, Laura | Mencej-Bedrac, Simona | Nguyen, Tuan V | Nogues, Xavier | Patel, Millan S | Prezelj, Janez | Rose, Lynda M | Scollen, Serena | Siggeirsdottir, Kristin | Smith, Albert V | Svensson, Olle | Trompet, Stella | Trummer, Olivia | van Schoor, Natasja M | Woo, Jean | Zhu, Kun | Balcells, Susana | Brandi, Maria Luisa | Buckley, Brendan M | Cheng, Sulin | Christiansen, Claus | Cooper, Cyrus | Dedoussis, George | Ford, Ian | Frost, Morten | Goltzman, David | González-Macías, Jesús | Kähönen, Mika | Karlsson, Magnus | Khusnutdinova, Elza | Koh, Jung-Min | Kollia, Panagoula | Langdahl, Bente Lomholt | Leslie, William D | Lips, Paul | Ljunggren, Östen | Lorenc, Roman S | Marc, Janja | Mellström, Dan | Obermayer-Pietsch, Barbara | Olmos, José M | Pettersson-Kymmer, Ulrika | Reid, David M | Riancho, José A | Ridker, Paul M | Rousseau, François | Slagboom, P Eline | Tang, Nelson LS | Urreizti, Roser | Van Hul, Wim | Viikari, Jorma | Zarrabeitia, María T | Aulchenko, Yurii S | Castano-Betancourt, Martha | Grundberg, Elin | Herrera, Lizbeth | Ingvarsson, Thorvaldur | Johannsdottir, Hrefna | Kwan, Tony | Li, Rui | Luben, Robert | Medina-Gómez, Carolina | Palsson, Stefan Th | Reppe, Sjur | Rotter, Jerome I | Sigurdsson, Gunnar | van Meurs, Joyce B J | Verlaan, Dominique | Williams, Frances MK | Wood, Andrew R | Zhou, Yanhua | Gautvik, Kaare M | Pastinen, Tomi | Raychaudhuri, Soumya | Cauley, Jane A | Chasman, Daniel I | Clark, Graeme R | Cummings, Steven R | Danoy, Patrick | Dennison, Elaine M | Eastell, Richard | Eisman, John A | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hofman, Albert | Jackson, Rebecca D | Jones, Graeme | Jukema, J Wouter | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Lehtimäki, Terho | Liu, Yongmei | Lorentzon, Mattias | McCloskey, Eugene | Mitchell, Braxton D | Nandakumar, Kannabiran | Nicholson, Geoffrey C | Oostra, Ben A | Peacock, Munro | Pols, Huibert A P | Prince, Richard L | Raitakari, Olli | Reid, Ian R | Robbins, John | Sambrook, Philip N | Sham, Pak Chung | Shuldiner, Alan R | Tylavsky, Frances A | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Wareham, Nick J | Cupples, L Adrienne | Econs, Michael J | Evans, David M | Harris, Tamara B | Kung, Annie Wai Chee | Psaty, Bruce M | Reeve, Jonathan | Spector, Timothy D | Streeten, Elizabeth A | Zillikens, M Carola | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Ohlsson, Claes | Karasik, David | Richards, J Brent | Brown, Matthew A | Stefansson, Kari | Uitterlinden, André G | Ralston, Stuart H | Ioannidis, John P A | Kiel, Douglas P | Rivadeneira, Fernando
Nature genetics  2012;44(5):491-501.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is the most important predictor of fracture risk. We performed the largest meta-analysis to date on lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD, including 17 genome-wide association studies and 32,961 individuals of European and East Asian ancestry. We tested the top-associated BMD markers for replication in 50,933 independent subjects and for risk of low-trauma fracture in 31,016 cases and 102,444 controls. We identified 56 loci (32 novel)associated with BMD atgenome-wide significant level (P<5×10−8). Several of these factors cluster within the RANK-RANKL-OPG, mesenchymal-stem-cell differentiation, endochondral ossification and the Wnt signalling pathways. However, we also discovered loci containing genes not known to play a role in bone biology. Fourteen BMD loci were also associated with fracture risk (P<5×10−4, Bonferroni corrected), of which six reached P<5×10−8 including: 18p11.21 (C18orf19), 7q21.3 (SLC25A13), 11q13.2 (LRP5), 4q22.1 (MEPE), 2p16.2 (SPTBN1) and 10q21.1 (DKK1). These findings shed light on the genetic architecture and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying BMD variation and fracture susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3338864  PMID: 22504420
2.  Non-Replication of Association for Six Polymorphisms From Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies of Parkinson’s Disease: Large-Scale Collaborative Study 
Early genome-wide association (GWA) studies on Parkinson’s disease (PD) have not been able to yield conclusive, replicable signals of association, perhaps due to limited sample size. We aimed to investigate whether association signals derived from the meta-analysis of the first two GWA investigations might be replicable in different populations. We examined six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs1000291, rs1865997, rs2241743, rs2282048, rs2313982, and rs3018626) that had reached nominal significance with at least two of three different strategies proposed in a previous analysis of the original GWA studies. Investigators from the “Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson’s Disease” (GEOPD) consortium were invited to join in this study. Ten teams contributed replication data from 3,458 PD cases and 3,719 controls. The data from the two previously published GWAs (599 PD cases, 592 controls and 443 sibling pairs) were considered as well. All data were synthesized using both fixed and random effects models. The summary allelic odds ratios were ranging from 0.97 to 1.09 by random effects, when all data were included. The summary estimates of the replication data sets (excluding the original GWA data) were very close to 1.00 (range 0.98–1.09) and none of the effects were nominally statistically significant. The replication data sets had significantly different results than the GWA data. Our data do not support evidence that any of these six SNPs reflect susceptibility markers for PD. Much stronger signals of statistical significance in GWA platforms are needed to have substantial chances of replication. Specifically in PD genetics, this would require much larger GWA studies and perhaps novel analytical techniques.
PMCID: PMC4699803  PMID: 19475631
Parkinson’s disease; meta-analysis; genome-wide association
3.  Knowledge Integration in Cancer: Current Landscape and Future Prospects 
Knowledge integration includes knowledge management, synthesis, and translation processes. It aims to maximize the use of collected scientific information and accelerate translation of discoveries into individual and population health benefits. Accumulated evidence in cancer epidemiology constitutes a large share of the 2.7 million articles on cancer in PubMed. We examine the landscape of knowledge integration in cancer epidemiology. Past approaches have mostly used retrospective efforts of knowledge management and traditional systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Systematic searches identify 2,332 meta-analyses, about half of which are on genetics and epigenetics. Meta-analyses represent 1:89-1:1162 of published articles in various cancer subfields. Recently, there are more collaborative meta-analyses with individual-level data, including those with prospective collection of measurements [e.g., genotypes in genome-wide association studies (GWAS)]; this may help increase the reliability of inferences in the field. However, most meta-analyses are still done retrospectively with published information. There is also a flurry of candidate gene meta-analyses with spuriously prevalent "positive" results. Prospective design of large research agendas, registration of datasets, and public availability of data and analyses may improve our ability to identify knowledge gaps, maximize and accelerate translational progress or—at a minimum—recognize dead ends in a more timely fashion.
PMCID: PMC4697937  PMID: 23093546
4.  Research: increasing value, reducing waste 2 
Lancet (London, England)  2014;383(9912):166-175.
Correctable weaknesses in the design, conduct, and analysis of biomedical and public health research studies can produce misleading results and waste valuable resources. Small effects can be difficult to distinguish from bias introduced by study design and analyses. An absence of detailed written protocols and poor documentation of research is common. Information obtained might not be useful or important, and statistical precision or power is often too low or used in a misleading way. Insufficient consideration might be given to both previous and continuing studies. Arbitrary choice of analyses and an overemphasis on random extremes might affect the reported findings. Several problems relate to the research workforce, including failure to involve experienced statisticians and methodologists, failure to train clinical researchers and laboratory scientists in research methods and design, and the involvement of stakeholders with conflicts of interest. Inadequate emphasis is placed on recording of research decisions and on reproducibility of research. Finally, reward systems incentivise quantity more than quality, and novelty more than reliability. We propose potential solutions for these problems, including improvements in protocols and documentation, consideration of evidence from studies in progress, standardisation of research efforts, optimisation and training of an experienced and non-conflicted scientific workforce, and reconsideration of scientific reward systems.
PMCID: PMC4697939  PMID: 24411645
5.  Assessing Value in Biomedical Research 
JAMA  2014;312(5):483-484.
PMCID: PMC4687964  PMID: 24911291
6.  Placing epidemiological results in the context of multiplicity and typical correlations of exposures 
Epidemiological studies evaluate multiple exposures, but the extent of multiplicity often remains non-transparent when results are reported. There is extensive debate in the literature on whether multiplicity should be adjusted for in the design, analysis, and reporting of most epidemiological studies, and, if so, how this should be done. The challenges become more acute in an era where the number of exposures that can be studied (the exposome) can be very large. Here, we argue that it can be very insightful to visualize and describe the extent of multiplicity by reporting the number of effective exposures for each category of exposures being assessed, and to describe the distribution of correlation between exposures and/or between exposures and outcomes in epidemiological datasets. The results of new proposed associations can be placed in the context of this background information. An association can be assigned to a percentile of magnitude of effect based on the distribution of effects seen in the field. We offer an example of how such information can be routinely presented in an epidemiological study/dataset using data on 530 exposure and demographic variables classified in 32 categories in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Effects that survive multiplicity considerations and that are large may be prioritized for further scrutiny.
PMCID: PMC4545966  PMID: 24923805
8.  Falsified papers in high-impact journals were slow to retract and indistinguishable from nonfraudulent papers 
Journal of clinical epidemiology  2008;61(5):464-470.
The aim was to evaluate papers retracted due to falsification in high-impact journals.
Study Design and Setting
We selected articles retracted due to allegations of falsification in January 1, 1980 to March 1, 2006 from journals with impact factor >10 and >30,000 annual citations. We evaluated characteristics of these papers and misconduct-involved authors and assessed whether they correlated with time to retraction. We also compared retracted articles vs. matched nonretracted articles in the same journals.
Fourteen eligible journals had 63 eligible retracted articles. Median time from publication to retraction was 28 months; it was 79 months for articles where a senior researcher was implicated in the misconduct vs. 22 months when junior researchers were implicated (log-rank P < 0.001). For the 25 implicated authors, the median time from the first publication of a fraudulent paper to the first retraction was 34 months, again with a clear difference according to researcher rank (log-rank P = 0.001). Retracted articles didn’t differ from matched nonretracted papers in citations received within 12 months, number of authors, country, funding, or field, but were twofold more likely to have multinational authorship (P = 0.049).
Retractions due to falsification can take a long time, especially when senior researchers are implicated. Fraudulent articles are not obviously distinguishable from nonfraudulent ones.
PMCID: PMC4699806  PMID: 18394539
Fraud; Falsification; Retraction; Impact; Journals; Senior investigators
9.  Design and Analysis for Studying microRNAs in Human Disease: A Primer on -Omic Technologies 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(2):140-152.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental to cellular biology. Although only approximately 22 bases long, miRNAs regulate complex processes in health and disease, including human cancer. Because miRNAs are highly stable in circulation when compared with several other classes of nucleic acids, they have generated intense interest as clinical biomarkers in diverse epidemiologic studies. As with other molecular biomarker fields, however, miRNA research has become beleaguered by pitfalls related to terminology and classification; procedural, assay, and study cohort heterogeneity; and methodological inconsistencies. Together, these issues have led to both false-positive and potentially false-negative miRNA associations. In this review, we summarize the biological rationale for studying miRNAs in human disease with a specific focus on circulating miRNAs, which highlight some of the most challenging topics in the field to date. Examples from lung cancer are used to illustrate the potential utility and some of the pitfalls in contemporary miRNA research. Although the field is in its infancy, several important lessons have been learned relating to cohort development, sample preparation, and statistical analysis that should be considered for future studies. The goal of this primer is to equip epidemiologists and clinical researchers with sound principles of study design and analysis when using miRNAs.
PMCID: PMC4082346  PMID: 24966218
blood; cancer; circulating biomarkers; lung cancer; microRNA; review
10.  An overview of recommendations and translational milestones for genomic tests in cancer 
To understand the translational trajectory of genomic tests in cancer screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, we reviewed tests that have been assessed by recommendation and guideline developers.
For each test, we marked translational milestones by determining when the genomic association with cancer was first discovered and studied in patients, and when a health application for a specified clinical use was successfully demonstrated and approved or cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration. To identify recommendations and guidelines, we reviewed the websites of cancer, genomic, and general guideline developers and professional organizations. We searched the in vitro diagnostics database of the US Food and Drug Administration for information, and we searched PubMed for translational milestones. Milestones were examined against type of recommendation, Food and Drug Administration approval or clearance, disease rarity, and test purpose.
Of the 45 tests we identified, 9 received strong recommendations for their usage in clinical settings, 14 received positive but moderate recommendations, and 22 were not currently recommended. For 18 tests, two or more different sources had issued recommendations, with 67% concordance. Only five tests had Food and Drug Administration approval, and an additional five had clearance. The median time from discovery to recommendation statement was 14.7 years.
In general, there were no associations found between translational trajectory and recommendation category.
PMCID: PMC4686861  PMID: 25341115
cancer; genomics; genetic testing; recommendations and guidelines; translational research
11.  Big data meets public health 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2014;346(6213):1054-1055.
PMCID: PMC4684636  PMID: 25430753
12.  Collaborative Cancer Epidemiology in the 21st Century: the Model of Cancer Consortia 
During the last two decades, epidemiology has undergone a rapid evolution toward collaborative research. The proliferation of multi-institutional, interdisciplinary consortia has acquired particular prominence in cancer research. Herein, we describe the characteristics of a network of 49 established cancer epidemiology consortia (CEC) currently supported by the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This collection represents the largest disease-based research network for collaborative cancer research established in population sciences. We describe the funding trends, geographic distribution and areas of research focus. The CEC have been partially supported by 201 grants and yielded 3876 publications between 1995 and 2011. We describe this output in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration and translational evolution. We discuss challenges and future opportunities in the establishment and conduct of large-scale team science within the framework of CEC, review future prospects for this approach to large scale, interdisciplinary cancer research and describe a model for the evolution of an integrated Network of Cancer Consortia optimally suited to address and support 21st century epidemiology.
PMCID: PMC4683107  PMID: 24045926
consortium; epidemiology; cancer; interdisciplinary research; translation
13.  Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study 
British Journal of Sports Medicine  2015;49(21):1414-1422.
To determine the comparative effectiveness of exercise versus drug interventions on mortality outcomes.
Metaepidemiological study.
Eligibility criteria
Meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials with mortality outcomes comparing the effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions with each other or with control (placebo or usual care).
Data sources
Medline and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, May 2013.
Main outcome measure
Data synthesis
We combined study level death outcomes from exercise and drug trials using random effects network meta-analysis.
We included 16 (four exercise and 12 drug) meta-analyses. Incorporating an additional three recent exercise trials, our review collectively included 305 randomised controlled trials with 339 274 participants. Across all four conditions with evidence on the effectiveness of exercise on mortality outcomes (secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, rehabilitation of stroke, treatment of heart failure, prevention of diabetes), 14 716 participants were randomised to physical activity interventions in 57 trials. No statistically detectable differences were evident between exercise and drug interventions in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and prediabetes. Physical activity interventions were more effective than drug treatment among patients with stroke (odds ratios, exercise vanticoagulants 0.09, 95% credible intervals 0.01 to 0.70 and exercise v antiplatelets 0.10, 0.01 to 0.62). Diuretics were more effective than exercise in heart failure (exercise v diuretics 4.11,1.17to 24.76). Inconsistency between direct and indirect comparisons was not significant.
Although limited in quantity, existing randomised trial evidence on exercise interventions suggests that exercise and many drug interventions are often potentially similar in terms of their mortality benefits in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, rehabilitation after stroke, treatment of heart failure, and prevention of diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4680125  PMID: 26476429
14.  Effects of Interventions on Survival in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: an Umbrella Review of 159 Published Randomized Trials and 29 Meta-analyses 
Intensive care medicine  2014;40(6):769-787.
Multiple interventions have been tested in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We examined the entire agenda of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in ARDS that reported on mortality and of respective meta-analyses.
We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library and Web of Knowledge until July 2013. We included RCTs in ARDS published in English. We excluded trials of newborns and children; and those on short-term interventions, ARDS prevention or post-traumatic lung injury. We also reviewed all meta-analyses of RCTs in this field that addressed mortality. Treatment modalities were grouped in five categories: mechanical ventilation strategies and respiratory care, enteral or parenteral therapies, inhaled / intratracheal medications, nutritional support and hemodynamic monitoring.
We identified 159 published RCTs of which 93 had overall mortality reported (n= 20,671 patients) - 44 trials (14,426 patients) reported mortality as a primary outcome. A statistically significant survival benefit was observed in 8 trials (7 interventions) and two trials reported an adverse effect on survival. Among RTCs with >50 deaths in at least 1 treatment arm (n=21), 2 showed a statistically significant mortality benefit of the intervention (lower tidal volumes and prone positioning), 1 showed a statistically significant mortality benefit only in adjusted analyses (cisatracurium) and 1 (high-frequency oscillatory ventilation) showed a significant detrimental effect. Across 29 meta-analyses, the most consistent evidence was seen for low tidal volumes and prone positioning in severe ARDS.
There is limited supportive evidence that specific interventions can decrease mortality in ARDS. While low tidal volumes and prone positioning in severe ARDS seem effective, most sporadic findings of interventions suggesting reduced mortality are not corroborated consistently in large-scale evidence including meta-analyses.
PMCID: PMC4031289  PMID: 24667919
Acute respiratory distress syndrome; treatment; survival; mortality
15.  Assessment of Osteoarthritis Candidate Genes in a Meta-Analysis of Nine Genome-Wide Association Studies 
To assess candidate genes for association with osteoarthritis (OA) and identify promising genetic factors and, secondarily, to assess the candidate gene approach in OA.
A total of 199 candidate genes for association with OA were identified using Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) Navigator. All of their single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with an allele frequency of >5% were assessed by fixed-effects meta-analysis of 9 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that included 5,636 patients with knee OA and 16,972 control subjects and 4,349 patients with hip OA and 17,836 control subjects of European ancestry. An additional 5,921 individuals were genotyped for significantly associated SNPs in the meta-analysis. After correction for the number of independent tests, P values less than 1.58 × 10−5 were considered significant.
SNPs at only 2 of the 199 candidate genes (COL11A1 and VEGF) were associated with OA in the meta-analysis. Two SNPs in COL11A1 showed association with hip OA in the combined analysis: rs4907986 (P = 1.29 × 10−5, odds ratio [OR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.06−1.17) and rs1241164 (P = 1.47 × 10−5, OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.74−0.89). The sex-stratified analysis also showed association of COL11A1 SNP rs4908291 in women (P = 1.29 × 10−5, OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.82−0.92); this SNP showed linkage disequilibrium with rs4907986. A single SNP of VEGF, rs833058, showed association with hip OA in men (P = 1.35 × 10−5, OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.79−0.91). After additional samples were genotyped, association at one of the COL11A1 signals was reinforced, whereas association at VEGF was slightly weakened.
Two candidate genes, COL11A1 and VEGF, were significantly associated with OA in this focused meta-analysis. The remaining candidate genes were not associated.
PMCID: PMC4660891  PMID: 24757145
16.  Publication and other reporting biases in cognitive sciences: detection, prevalence and prevention 
Trends in cognitive sciences  2014;18(5):235-241.
Recent systematic reviews and empirical evaluations of the cognitive sciences literature suggest that publication and other reporting biases are prevalent across diverse domains of cognitive science. This review summarizes the various forms of publication and reporting biases and other questionable research practices, and overviews the available methods for probing into their existence. We discuss the available empirical evidence for the presence of such biases across the neuroimaging, animal, other pre-clinical, psychological, clinical trials, and genetics literature in the cognitive sciences. We also highlight emerging solutions (from study design to data analyses and reporting) to prevent bias and improve the fidelity in the field of cognitive science research.
PMCID: PMC4078993  PMID: 24656991
publication bias; reporting bias; cognitive sciences; neuroscience; bias
17.  Large-Scale Analysis of Association Between GDF5 and FRZB Variants and Osteoarthritis of the Hip, Knee, and Hand 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(6):1710-1721.
GDF5 and FRZB have been proposed as genetic loci conferring susceptibility to osteoarthritis (OA); however, the results of several studies investigating the association of OA with the rs143383 polymorphism of the GDF5 gene or the rs7775 and rs288326 polymorphisms of the FRZB gene have been conflicting or inconclusive. To examine these associations, we performed a large-scale meta-analysis of individual-level data.
Fourteen teams contributed data on polymorphisms and knee, hip, and hand OA. For rs143383, the total number of cases and controls, respectively, was 5,789 and 7,850 for hip OA, 5,085 and 8,135 for knee OA, and 4,040 and 4,792 for hand OA. For rs7775, the respective sample sizes were 4,352 and 10,843 for hip OA, 3,545 and 6,085 for knee OA, and 4,010 and 5,151 for hand OA, and for rs288326, they were 4,346 and 8,034 for hip OA, 3,595 and 6,106 for knee OA, and 3,982 and 5,152 for hand OA. For each individual study, sex-specific odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for each OA phenotype that had been investigated. The ORs for each phenotype were synthesized using both fixed-effects and random-effects models for allele-based effects, and also for haplotype effects for FRZB.
A significant random-effects summary OR for knee OA was demonstrated for rs143383 (1.15 [95% confidence interval 1.09–1.22]) (P = 9.4 × 10−7), with no significant between-study heterogeneity. Estimates of effect sizes for hip and hand OA were similar, but a large between-study heterogeneity was observed, and statistical significance was borderline (for OA of the hip [P = 0.016]) or absent (for OA of the hand [P = 0.19]). Analyses for FRZB polymorphisms and haplotypes did not reveal any statistically significant signals, except for a borderline association of rs288326 with hip OA (P = 0.019).
Evidence of an association between the GDF5 rs143383 polymorphism and OA is substantially strong, but the genetic effects are consistent across different populations only for knee OA. Findings of this collaborative analysis do not support the notion that FRZB rs7775 or rs288326 has any sizable genetic effect on OA phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC4412885  PMID: 19479880
18.  Diagnostic accuracy of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) for detecting major depression in pregnant and postnatal women: protocol for a systematic review and individual patient data meta-analyses 
BMJ Open  2015;5(10):e009742.
Studies of the diagnostic accuracy of depression screening tools often used data-driven methods to select optimal cut-offs. Typically, these studies report results from a small range of cut-off points around whatever cut-off score is identified as most accurate. When published data are combined in meta-analyses, estimates of accuracy for different cut-off points may be based on data from different studies, rather than data from all studies for each cut-off point. Thus, traditional meta-analyses may exaggerate accuracy estimates. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analyses synthesise data from all studies for each cut-off score to obtain accuracy estimates. The 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is commonly recommended for depression screening in the perinatal period. The primary objective of this IPD meta-analysis is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the EPDS to detect major depression among women during pregnancy and in the postpartum period across all potentially relevant cut-off scores, accounting for patient factors that may influence accuracy (age, pregnancy vs postpartum).
Methods and analysis
Data sources will include Medline, Medline In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. Studies that include a diagnosis of major depression based on a validated structured or semistructured clinical interview administered within 2 weeks of (before or after) the administration of the EPDS will be included. Risk of bias will be assessed with the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool. Bivariate random-effects meta-analysis will be conducted for the full range of plausible cut-off values. Analyses will evaluate data from pregnancy and the postpartum period separately, as well as combining data from all women in a single model.
Ethics and dissemination
This study does not require ethics approval. Dissemination will include journal articles and presentations to policymakers, healthcare providers and researchers.
Systematic review registration
PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015024785.
PMCID: PMC4620163  PMID: 26486977
19.  Unscientific Beliefs about Scientific Topics in Nutrition123 
Advances in Nutrition  2014;5(5):563-565.
Humans interact with food daily. Such repeated exposure creates a widespread, superficial familiarity with nutrition. Personal familiarity with nutrition from individual and cultural perspectives may give rise to beliefs about food not grounded in scientific evidence. In this summary of the session entitled “Unscientific Beliefs about Scientific Topics in Nutrition,” we discuss accumulated work illustrating and quantifying potentially misleading practices in the conduct and, more so, reporting of nutrition science along with proposed approaches to amelioration. We begin by defining “unscientific beliefs” and from where such beliefs may come, followed by discussing how large bodies of nutritional epidemiologic observations not only create highly improbable patterns of association but implausible magnitudes of implied effect. Poor reporting practices, biases, and methodologic issues that have distorted scientific understandings of nutrition are presented, followed by potential influences of conflicts of interest that extend beyond financial considerations. We conclude with recommendations for improving the conduct, reporting, and communication of nutrition-related research to ground discussions in evidence rather than solely on beliefs.
PMCID: PMC4188234  PMID: 25469397
20.  Endgame: engaging the tobacco industry in its own elimination 
A billion deaths from tobacco are expected by 2100. Many policy interventions such as increased taxation, restrictions on advertisement, smoking bans, as well as behavioral interventions, such as pharmacological and psychological treatments for smoking cessation, decrease tobacco use, but they reach their limits. Endgame scenarios focusing on tobacco supply rather than demand are increasingly discussed, but meet with resistance by the industry and even by many tobacco control experts. A main stumbling block that requires more attention is what to do with the tobacco industry in endgame scenarios. This industry has employed notoriously talented experts in law, business, organization, marketing, advertising, strategy, policy, and statistics and has tremendous lobbying power. Performance-based regulatory approaches can pose a legal obligation on manufacturers to decrease – and eventually – eliminate tobacco products according to specified schedules. Penalties and rewards can make such plans both beneficial for public health and attractive to the companies that do the job well. We discuss caveats and reality checks of engaging the tobacco industry to eliminate its current market and change focus. Brainstorming is warranted to entice the industry to abandon tobacco for other profit goals. To get the dialogue started, we propose the wild possibility of hiring former tobacco companies to reduce the costs of healthcare, thereby addressing concurrently two major challenges to public health.
PMCID: PMC4038649  PMID: 24117211
21.  How to Make More Published Research True 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(10):e1001747.
In a 2005 paper that has been accessed more than a million times, John Ioannidis explained why most published research findings were false. Here he revisits the topic, this time to address how to improve matters.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
PMCID: PMC4204808  PMID: 25334033
22.  Corrigendum: Simple, standardized incorporation of genetic risk into non-genetic risk prediction tools for complex traits: coronary heart disease as an example 
Frontiers in Genetics  2015;6:231.
PMCID: PMC4493401  PMID: 26217377
risk prediction; genetic risk score (GRS); electronic health records; cardiovascular diseases; coronary disease; biomarkers
23.  Geometry of the Randomized Evidence for Treatments of Pulmonary Hypertension 
Cardiovascular therapeutics  2013;31(6):e138-e146.
We studied the entire agenda of randomized clinical trials in pulmonary hyper-tension (PH) using sociological methods. We explored the geometry of the PH network to interpret the evidence on multiple competing treatments for the same indication.
We searched MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Library Databases for published studies. We queried and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry platform for non-published studies.
We found 75 randomized trials (41 published [n = 4136 participants] and 34 registered unpublished [planned n = 3470 participants]). Of the published randomized studies, all used placebo as the comparator arm except for two nonindustry-sponsored comparisons between phosphodiestearase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors and endothelin receptor antagonists (ERA), and one study comparing two different regimens of treprostinil. Similarly, only five unpublished/ongoing trials used an active PH treatment as comparator (PDE-5 inhibitors versus ERA (n = 3), different doses of sildenafil (n = 1) and two formulations of epoprostenol (n = 1). Of the 75 trials, 47 were sponsored by the manufacturer of the tested active product(s), and only two trials were sponsored by two companies comparing their products.
The relative merits of different treatment options are not directly known, as there are very few head-to-head comparisons. A limited number of ongoing studies are using active FDA-approved PH-treatments for comparison. This lack of information can be overcome by carefully designing comparative effectiveness trials.
PMCID: PMC4480770  PMID: 24112824
Pulmonary hypertension; Treatment
24.  Studying the Elusive Environment in Large Scale 
PMCID: PMC4110965  PMID: 24893084
25.  A Nutrient-Wide Association Study on Blood Pressure 
Circulation  2012;126(21):2456-2464.
A nutrient-wide approach may be useful comprehensively to test and validate associations between nutrients (derived from foods and supplements) and blood pressure (BP) in an unbiased manner.
Methods and Results
Data from 4,680 participants ages 40–59 in the cross-sectional International Study of Macro/Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) were stratified randomly into training and testing sets. NHANES cross-sectional cohorts of 1999–2000 to 2005–2006 were used for external validation. We performed multiple linear regression analyses associating each of 82 nutrients and 3 urine electrolytes with systolic and diastolic BP in the INTERMAP training set. Significant findings were validated in the INTERMAP testing set and further in the NHANES cohorts (False Discovery Rate <5% in training, p<0.05 for internal and external validation). Among the validated nutrients, alcohol and urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio were directly associated with systolic BP, and dietary phosphorus, magnesium, iron, thiamin, folacin, and riboflavin were inversely associated with systolic BP. In addition, dietary folacin, and riboflavin were inversely associated with diastolic BP. The absolute effect sizes in the validation data (NHANES) ranged from 0.97 mmHg lower systolic BP (phosphorus) to 0.39 mmHg lower systolic BP (thiamin) per 1SD difference in nutrient variable. Inclusion of nutrient intake from supplements in addition to foods gave similar results for some nutrients, though it attenuated the associations of folacin, thiamin and riboflavin intake with BP.
We identified significant inverse associations between B vitamins and BP, relationships hitherto poorly investigated. Our analyses represent a systematic unbiased approach to the evaluation and validation of nutrient-BP associations.
PMCID: PMC4105584  PMID: 23093587
lood pressure; diet; epidemiology; nutrition

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