- February 12, 2014
In January 2012, the EU Commission published a proposal that would have allowed the use of identifiable personal data for scientific purposes. This is restricted, under the current EU directive of 1995, by the obligation to obtain the consent of every data subject. Since then, more than 3000 amendments were proposed.
In October 2013, the Committee for Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs of the EU Parliament (LIBE) passed a “compromise proposal” that makes amendments to the Commission’s proposal. Some of these amendments could impede the advancement of public health research and epidemiology. Articles 81 and 83 are particularly problematic. They limit use of personal health data without explicit informed consent only to cases of “high public interest,” and thus large areas of epidemiological research virtually impossible.
The Council, the third body of the EU, must agree upon a common proposal with ... Read the rest of this article
- February 5, 2014
Epidemiology often addresses research problems where results have implications for many people. Research of this nature has to be of good quality and conclusions should reflect validity and sources of bias in a fair manner, not influenced by any other ’outside’ factors. Epidemiologists with conflicts of interest – “defined as a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest” – should declare these conflicts when they seek funding, report their results, provide legal opinions, and in scientific correspondence. We also recognize that conflicts of interest go further than financial conflicts; political views, prior trust in the hypothesis and even a sense of ownership of the hypothesis all play a role together with many other factors, including family and other relationships. For ... Read the rest of this article
- January 24, 2014
The 2014 Richard Doll Prize has been awarded to Richard Peto from the University of Oxford, in recognition of his highly original innovations in the methodology of multi-centric observational studies and randomized trials that have rapidly translated into studies advancing knowledge directly relevant to the prevention and treatment of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Peto’s methodological innovations – including log rank-based meta-analyses, regression dilution and mega-studies – are now standard tools in epidemiology. He developed and applied novel methods for analyses and meta-analyses of trials, thus generating large-scale randomized evidence in breast cancer and vascular disease that significantly affected national mortality trends in many countries. His work helped quantify major avoidable causes of death, including blood pressure, blood lipids and, particularly, tobacco. In addition to analyzing existing studies, he helped initiate, with local colleagues, the first large prospective ... Read the rest of this article
- January 4, 2014
The 27th Residential Summer Course in Epidemiology in Florence, Italy is organized by the European Educational Programme in Epidemiology (EEPE) under the patronage of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) and run in collaboration with several European Universities.
The 2014 edition of the three-week course (9 ECTS), which will run from 23 June – 11 July 2014 has been thoroughly revised and updated. The course offers a lively mixture of methodological lectures, guest lectures on special topics, and practical exercises, in a stunning environment in the hills above Florence. The course provides an overview of epidemiological methods, the core concepts of epidemiological thinking, and allows students to acquire skills in the analysis of epidemiological data. In the last week students can choose from different modules, including modules on advanced statistical analysis, advanced epidemiological concepts, and methodological issues in environmental, clinical epidemiology or reproductive ... Read the rest of this article