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Title: Genetic Epidemiology in Latin America: Identifying Strong Genetic Proxies for Complex Disease Risk Factors
Authors: BONILLA, CarolinaBACCARINI, Lara Novaes
Citation: GENES, v.11, n.5, article ID 507, 10p, 2020
Abstract: Epidemiology seeks to determine the causal effects of exposures on outcomes related to the health and wellbeing of populations. Observational studies, one of the most commonly used designs in epidemiology, can be biased due to confounding and reverse causation, which makes it difficult to establish causal relationships. In recent times, genetically informed methods, like Mendelian randomization (MR), have been developed in an attempt to overcome these disadvantages. MR relies on the association of genetic variants with outcomes of interest, where the genetic variants are proxies or instruments for modifiable exposures. Because genotypes are sorted independently and at random at the time of conception, they are less prone to confounding and reverse causation. Implementation of MR depends on, among other things, a strong association of the genetic variants with the exposure, which has usually been defined via genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Because GWAS have been most often carried out in European populations, the limited identification of strong instruments in other populations poses a major problem for the application of MR in Latin America. We suggest potential solutions that can be realized with the resources at hand and others that will have to wait for increased funding and access to technology.
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LIM/38 - Laboratório de Epidemiologia e Imunobiologia

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