Merging and emerging cohorts: Necessary but not sufficient

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2152, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 02/2007; 445(7125):259. DOI: 10.1038/445259a
Source: PubMed
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    • "For common pediatric diseases such as asthma, obesity, and some adverse birth outcomes, a prospective cohort study will be extremely valuable to identify environmental risk factors as well as evaluate gene-environment interaction mechanisms [45,46]. Prospective cohort studies on a national scale [47] or by pooling data from existing prospective cohorts [48] should be conducted to ensure sufficient power in gene-environmental studies. The U.S. Congress, through the Children’s Health Act of 2000, authorized the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) “to conduct a national longitudinal study of environmental influences (including physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial) on children’s health and development” [49]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Both nurture (environmental) and nature (genetic factors) play an important role in human disease etiology. Traditionally, these effects have been thought of as independent. This perspective is ill informed for non-mendelian complex disorders which result as an interaction between genetics and environment. To understand health and disease we must study how nature and nurture interact. Recent advances in human genomics and high-throughput biotechnology make it possible to study large numbers of genetic markers and gene products simultaneously to explore their interactions with environment. The purpose of this review is to discuss design and analytic issues for gene-environment interaction studies in the "-omics" era, with a focus on environmental and genetic epidemiological studies. We present an expanded environmental genomic disease paradigm. We discuss several study design issues for gene-environmental interaction studies, including confounding and selection bias, measurement of exposures and genotypes. We discuss statistical issues in studying gene-environment interactions in different study designs, such as choices of statistical models, assumptions regarding biological factors, and power and sample size considerations, especially in genome-wide gene-environment studies. Future research directions are also discussed.
    Environmental Health 12/2012; 11(1):93. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-11-93 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    • "Furthermore, standardizing and harmonizing new and continuing cohorts, and incorporating them into the existing study in a valid way, is similarly complex and time-consuming. Phenotypic measures, specific measurement tools, and other areas may be discordant across studies.11 Biospecimens present unique challenges. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this era of chronic diseases, large studies are essential in investigating genes, environment, and gene-environment interactions as disease causes, particularly when associations are important but not strong. Moreover, to allow expansion and generalization of the results, studies should be conducted in populations outside Western countries. Here, we briefly describe the Asia Cohort Consortium (ACC), a collaborative cancer cohort research project that was first proposed in 2004 and now involves more than 1 million healthy individuals across Asia. There are approximately 50 active members from Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and elsewhere. To date, the work of the ACC includes 3 articles published in 2011 on the roles of body mass index, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption in mortality, diabetes, and cancer of the small intestine. Many challenges remain, including data harmonization, resolution of ethical and legal issues, establishment of protocols for biologic samples and transfer agreements, and funding procurement.
    Journal of Epidemiology 05/2012; 22(4):287-90. DOI:10.2188/jea.JE20120024 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    • "All of these landmark developments have made the identification of genetic susceptibilities to highly prevalent diseases and complex traits possible, such as type 2 diabetes, various types of cancers, heart disease, Crohn's disease, bipolar disorder (Manolio et al. 2007; Collins and Manolio 2007), and many others. However, definition of these genomic variants largely implies that a proxy functional variant is the real cause of either the disease or the complex trait. "
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    ABSTRACT: During the past 15 years, an impressive amount of genetic information has become available in the research field of psychiatry, particularly as it relates to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the classical clinical approach to ADHD has minimally affected and not significantly been improved by this genetic revolution. It is difficult to predict how long it will take for genetic findings to alter the way clinicians treat patients with ADHD. New medications or treatment protocols may take years to become routine clinical practice. However, when taken together, recent successes in genomics, pharmacogenomics, and genetic epidemiology have the potential (1) to prevent comorbid consequences of ADHD, (2) to individualize therapies for patients with ADHD, and (3) to define new epidemiological policies to aid with the impact of ADHD on society. Here, we present an overview of how genetic research may affect and improve the quality of life of patients with ADHD: as an example, we use the discovery of LPHN3, a new gene in which variants have recently been shown to be associated with ADHD.
    ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 11/2010; 2(3):139-47. DOI:10.1007/s12402-010-0030-2
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