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Current Epidemiology Reports

Brandon L Pierce, Peter Kraft, Chenan Zhang
Purpose of review: In this paper, we summarize prior studies that have used Mendelian Randomization (MR) methods to study the effects of exposures, lifestyle factors, physical traits, and/or biomarkers on cancer risk in humans. Many such risk factors have been associated with cancer risk in observational studies, and the MR approach can be used to provide evidence as to whether these associations represent causal relationships. MR methods require a risk factor of interest to have known genetic determinants that can be used as proxies for the risk factor (i...
June 2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Dayna A Johnson, Martha E Billings, Lauren Hale
Purpose of Review: Sleep is important for overall health and well-being. Insufficient sleep and sleep disorders are highly prevalent among adults and children and therefore a public health burden, particularly because poor sleep is associated with adverse health outcomes. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that environmental factors at the household- and neighborhood-level can alter healthy sleep. This paper will (1) review recent literature on the environmental determinants of sleep among adults as well as children and adolescents; and (2) discuss the opportunities and challenges for advancing research on the environment and sleep...
June 2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Noah Kojima, Jeffrey D Klausner
Purpose of Review: Syphilis continues to cause morbidity and mortality worldwide. While syphilis infection is easily identifiable and treatable, rates of syphilis infection continue to increase among select populations in high-income countries and remain at endemic levels in low- and middle-income counties. Recent findings: World Health Organization recommended strategies have led to the dual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis and HIV in several countries, however outbreaks among select populations need to be adequately addressed...
March 2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Mozhu Ding, Chengxuan Qiu
Purpose of Review: Atrial fibrillation (AF) and dementia are both prevalent diseases in aging societies, which exert a great economic burden worldwide. Although a handful of epidemiologic studies have indicated that AF is independently associated with faster cognitive decline and a higher risk of dementia, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of the observed association. In this review, we summarize evidence from major epidemiologic studies concerning AF-related cognitive decline and dementia, the potential mechanisms underlying their association, and the cognitive benefits of treatment options...
2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Jeremy Labrecque, Sonja A Swanson
Purpose of Review: Instrumental variable (IV) methods continue to be applied to questions ranging from genetic to social epidemiology. In the epidemiologic literature, discussion of whether the assumptions underlying IV analyses hold is often limited to only certain assumptions and even then, arguments are mostly made using subject matter knowledge. To complement subject matter knowledge, there exist a variety of falsification strategies and other tools for weighing the plausibility of the assumptions underlying IV analyses...
2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Aubree Gordon, Arthur Reingold
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Current Epidemiology Reports
Anurag Verma, Marylyn D Ritchie
Purpose of Review: Over many decades, researchers have been designing studies to investigate the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes to gain an understanding about the effect of genetics on disease. Recently, a high-throughput approach called phenome-wide associations studies (PheWAS) have been extensively used to identify associations between genetic variants and many diseases and traits simultaneously. In this review, we describe the value of PheWAS along with methodological issues and challenges in interpretation for current applications of PheWAS...
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Lori C Sakoda, Louise M Henderson, Tanner J Caverly, Karen J Wernli, Hormuzd A Katki
Purpose of review: Risk prediction models may be useful for facilitating effective and high-quality decision-making at critical steps in the lung cancer screening process. This review provides a current overview of published lung cancer risk prediction models and their applications to lung cancer screening and highlights both challenges and strategies for improving their predictive performance and use in clinical practice. Recent findings: Since the 2011 publication of the National Lung Screening Trial results, numerous prediction models have been proposed to estimate the probability of developing or dying from lung cancer or the probability that a pulmonary nodule is malignant...
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
John W Jackson, Ian Schmid, Elizabeth A Stuart
Purpose of review: Propensity score methods have become commonplace in pharmacoepidemiology over the past decade. Their adoption has confronted formidable obstacles that arise from pharmacoepidemiology's reliance on large healthcare databases of considerable heterogeneity and complexity. These include identifying clinically meaningful samples, defining treatment comparisons, and measuring covariates in ways that respect sound epidemiologic study design. Additional complexities involve correctly modeling treatment decisions in the face of variation in healthcare practice, and dealing with missing information and unmeasured confounding...
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Andrew F Olshan
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
John G Connolly, Shirley V Wang, Candace C Fuller, Sengwee Toh, Catherine A Panozzo, Noelle Cocoros, Meijia Zhou, Joshua J Gagne, Judith C Maro
Purpose of Review: An important component of the Food and Drug Administration's Sentinel Initiative is the active post-market risk identification and analysis (ARIA) system, which utilizes semi-automated, parameterized computer programs to implement propensity-score adjusted and self-controlled risk interval designs to conduct targeted surveillance of medical products in the Sentinel Distributed Database. In this manuscript, we review literature relevant to the development of these programs and describe their application within the Sentinel Initiative...
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Xiaojuan Li, Jessica G Young, Sengwee Toh
Purpose of review: Pharmacoepidemiologists are often interested in estimating the effects of dynamic treatment strategies, where treatments are modified based on patients' evolving characteristics. For such problems, appropriate control of both baseline and time-varying confounders is critical. Conventional methods that control confounding by including time-varying treatments and confounders in an outcome regression model may not have a causal interpretation, even when all baseline and time-varying confounders are measured...
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Sengwee Toh
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Jennifer Anne Doherty, Lauren Cole Peres, Chen Wang, Gregory P Way, Casey S Greene, Joellen M Schildkraut
Purpose of review: Only recently has it become clear that epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is comprised of such distinct histotypes--with different cells of origin, morphology, molecular features, epidemiologic factors, clinical features, and survival patterns-that they can be thought of as different diseases sharing an anatomical location. Herein, we review opportunities and challenges in studying EOC heterogeneity. Recent findings: The 2014 World Health Organization diagnostic guidelines incorporate accumulated evidence that high- and low-grade serous tumors have different underlying pathogenesis, and that, on the basis of shared molecular features, most high grade tumors, including some previously classified as endometrioid, are now considered to be high-grade serous...
September 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Margarita Alegría, Kiara Álvarez, Karissa DiMarzio
Purpose of review: While the experience of migration and resettlement in a new country is associated with mental health risks, immigrants generally demonstrate better mental health than expected. This review describes patterns in mental health outcomes among immigrants. We discuss a conceptual model of the potential underlying mechanisms that could buffer the stress and disadvantage experienced by this substantial and growing population. Recent findings: While epidemiological studies have established a general pattern of lower risk for mental health disorders among first-generation (foreign-born) immigrants in the U...
June 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Carmen Messerlian, Audrey J Gaskins
PURPOSE: While considerable progress has been made since the advent of assisted reproductive technology (ART), the field remains a complex and challenging one for clinicians and researchers alike. This review discusses some of the most salient issues pertaining to the study of ART and whenever possible suggestions on how to address them. RECENT FINDINGS: More than 5 million babies have been born through ART to date, representing up to 4% of all births worldwide...
June 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Anissa I Vines, Julia B Ward, Evette Cordoba, Kristin Z Black
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent literature on racial or ethnic discrimination and mental health was reviewed to assess the current science and identify key areas of emphasis for social epidemiology. Objectives of this review were to: 1) Determine whether there have been advancements in the measurement and analysis of perceived discrimination; 2) Identify the use of theories and/or frameworks in perceived discrimination and mental health research; and 3) Assess the extent to which stress buffers are being considered and evaluated in the existing literature...
June 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Alexander J Millman, Noele P Nelson, Claudia Vellozzi
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review highlights key studies and recently published data, policies, and recommendations related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology, transmission, and treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: HCV is a leading cause of liver-related deaths, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Since 2011 and accelerating since 2013, new, safe, tolerable, and curative therapies have considerably altered clinical and public health frameworks related to the prevention, control and clinical management of HCV...
June 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Kelly K Ferguson, Helen B Chin
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Preterm birth is a significant worldwide health problem of uncertain origins. The extant body of literature examining environmental contaminant exposures in relation to preterm birth is extensive but results remain ambiguous for most organic pollutants, metals and metalloids, and air pollutants. In the present review we examine recent epidemiologic studies investigating these associations, and identify recent advances and the state of the science. Additionally, we highlight biological mechanisms of action in the pathway between chemical exposures and preterm birth, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and endocrine disruption, that deserve more attention in this context...
March 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
Joseph M Braun, Carmen Messerlian, Russ Hauser
PURPOSE: Despite accumulating evidence from experimental animal studies showing that paternal environmental exposures induce genetic and epigenetic alterations in sperm which in turn increase the risk of adverse health outcomes in offspring, there is limited epidemiological data on the effects of human paternal preconception exposures on children's health. We summarize animal and human studies showing that paternal preconception environmental exposures influence offspring health. We discuss specific approaches and designs for human studies to investigate the health effects of paternal preconception exposures, the specific challenges these studies may face, and how we might address them...
March 2017: Current Epidemiology Reports
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