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A Platform for the Remote Conduct of Gene-Environment Interaction Studies

Gallacher, John Edward, Collins, Rory, Elliott, Paul, Palmer, Stephen Royston, Burton, Paul, Mitchell, Clive Peter, John, Gareth and Lyons, Ronan 2013. A Platform for the Remote Conduct of Gene-Environment Interaction Studies. PLoS ONE 8 (1) , e54331. 10.1371/journal.pone.0054331

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Abstract

Background: Gene-environment interaction studies offer the prospect of robust causal inference through both gene identification and instrumental variable approaches. As such they are a major and much needed development. However, conducting these studies using traditional methods, which require direct participant contact, is resource intensive. The ability to conduct gene-environment interaction studies remotely would reduce costs and increase capacity. Aim: To develop a platform for the remote conduct of gene-environment interaction studies. Methods: A random sample of 15,000 men and women aged 50+ years and living in Cardiff, South Wales, of whom 6,012 were estimated to have internet connectivity, were mailed inviting them to visit a web-site to join a study of successful ageing. Online consent was obtained for questionnaire completion, cognitive testing, re-contact, record linkage and genotyping. Cognitive testing was conducted using the Cardiff Cognitive Battery. Bio-sampling was randomised to blood spot, buccal cell or no request. Results: A heterogeneous sample of 663 (4.5% of mailed sample and 11% of internet connected sample) men and women (47% female) aged 50–87 years (median = 61 yrs) from diverse backgrounds (representing the full range of deprivation scores) was recruited. Bio-samples were donated by 70% of those agreeing to do so. Self report questionnaires and cognitive tests showed comparable distributions to those collected using face-to-face methods. Record linkage was achieved for 99.9% of participants. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that remote methods are suitable for the conduct of gene-environment interaction studies. Up-scaling these methods provides the opportunity to increase capacity for large-scale gene-environment interaction studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Funders: Welsh Assembly Government
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:10
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/49142

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