- April 16, 2014
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- April 15, 2014
Oxford University Press has announced that the new, 6th. edition of the IEA Dictionary of Epidemiology will be published next June.
Like the past, 5th. edition, the book has been edited for the International Epidemiological Association by Miquel Porta, who was selected by the IEA Council to succeed the editor of the first four editions, John M. Last (now Emeritus Professor at the University of Ottawa). This time there are four Associate Editors: John Last himself, Sander Greenland (UCLA), Miguel A. Hernán (Harvard), and Isabel dos Santos Silva (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). The Assistant Editor has been Andrea Burón, presently at the University of Oxford. As always, there are numerous contributors from all over the world; such collective and collegial work is one of the defining characteristics of the dictionary.
The new edition has 343 pages, 54 more (18.7%) than the previous one. It includes exactly 800 bibliographic references introduced ... Read the rest of this article
- March 28, 2014
Most epidemiologists are aware of some of the problems with P-values; they combine both effect size and sample size, they are not easy to interpret, in most studies they really have no meaning and in many cases they are simply grossly misleading causing mistakes that can be serious. Misinterpretation of P values has probably led to some of the most frequent and serious iatrogenic mistakes. Thousands, probably millions, have suffered from misinterpretations of the P-value. How does this arise? ‘Overlooking valuable treatment or risky exposures because the results were not statistically significant is not the fault of the p-value itself, but is a common problem that arises out of the use of p-values without adequate thought and scrutiny by scientific authors, peer reviewers and editors’, as stated our BLOG from December 2009. The main problem is taking ... Read the rest of this article
- 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