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Usefulness of Mendelian Randomization in Observational Epidemiology

University Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Rue du Bugnon 17, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 711-728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7030711
Received: 29 December 2009 / Accepted: 16 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Mendelian randomization refers to the random allocation of alleles at the time of gamete formation. In observational epidemiology, this refers to the use of genetic variants to estimate a causal effect between a modifiable risk factor and an outcome of interest. In this review, we recall the principles of a “Mendelian randomization” approach in observational epidemiology, which is based on the technique of instrumental variables; we provide simulations and an example based on real data to demonstrate its implications; we present the results of a systematic search on original articles having used this approach; and we discuss some limitations of this approach in view of what has been found so far. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic epidemiology; causality; observational studies; instrumental variables genetic epidemiology; causality; observational studies; instrumental variables
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bochud, M.; Rousson, V. Usefulness of Mendelian Randomization in Observational Epidemiology. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 711-728.

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