Document Detail


Mendelian randomization as an instrumental variable approach to causal inference.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17715159     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
In epidemiological research, the causal effect of a modifiable phenotype or exposure on a disease is often of public health interest. Randomized controlled trials to investigate this effect are not always possible and inferences based on observational data can be confounded. However, if we know of a gene closely linked to the phenotype without direct effect on the disease, it can often be reasonably assumed that the gene is not itself associated with any confounding factors - a phenomenon called Mendelian randomization. These properties define an instrumental variable and allow estimation of the causal effect, despite the confounding, under certain model restrictions. In this paper, we present a formal framework for causal inference based on Mendelian randomization and suggest using directed acyclic graphs to check model assumptions by visual inspection. This framework allows us to address limitations of the Mendelian randomization technique that have often been overlooked in the medical literature.
Authors:
Vanessa Didelez; Nuala Sheehan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Statistical methods in medical research     Volume:  16     ISSN:  0962-2802     ISO Abbreviation:  Stat Methods Med Res     Publication Date:  2007 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-23     Completed Date:  2007-10-11     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9212457     Medline TA:  Stat Methods Med Res     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  309-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Statistical Science, University College London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Causality*
Epidemiologic Methods*
Epidemiology / statistics & numerical data*
Humans
Random Allocation*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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