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Observational analytic studies in multiple sclerosis: controlling bias through study design and conduct. The Australian Multicentre Study of Environment and Immune Function

Citation

Lucas, RM and Ponsonby, AL and McMichael, AJ and Van der Mei, IAF and Chapman, C and Coulthard, A and Dear, K and Dwyer, T and Kilpatrick, TJ and Pender, MP and Taylor, BVM and Valery, P and Williams, D, Observational analytic studies in multiple sclerosis: controlling bias through study design and conduct. The Australian Multicentre Study of Environment and Immune Function, Multiple Sclerosis, 13, (7) pp. 827-839. ISSN 1352-4585 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/1352458507077174

Abstract

Rising multiple sclerosis incidence over the last 50 years and geographic patterns of occurrence suggest an environmental role in the causation of this multifactorial disease. Design options for epidemiological studies of environmental causes of multiple sclerosis are limited by the low incidence of the disease, possible diagnostic delay and budgetary constraints. We describe scientific and methodological issues considered in the development of the Australian Multicentre Study of Environment and Immune Function (the Ausimmune Study), which seeks, in particular, to better understand the causes of the well-known MS positive latitudinal gradient. A multicentre, case-control design down the eastern seaboard of Australia allows the recruitment of sufficient cases for adequate study power and provides data on environmental exposures that vary by latitude. Cases are persons with an incident first demyelinating event (rather than prevalent multiple sclerosis), sourced from a population base using a two tier notification system. Controls, matched on sex, age (within two years) and region of residence, are recruited from the general population. Biases common in case-control studies, eg, prevalence-incidence bias, admission-rate bias, non-respondent bias, observer bias and recall bias, as well as confounding have been carefully considered in the study design and conduct of the Ausimmune Study. © 2007 SAGE Publications.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Public Health and Health Services
Research Field:Epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Objective Field:Nervous System and Disorders
Author:Ponsonby, AL (Professor Anne Ponsonby)
Author:Van der Mei, IAF (Associate Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
Author:Taylor, BVM (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:48431
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2012-07-27
Downloads:0

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