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Guidelines for Genetic-Association Studies Published

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Ottawa announced this month that several medical journals are publishing new guidelines for reporting on genetic-association studies.

The initial "Strengthening the Reporting of Genetic Association studies" guidelines were developed during a June 2006 workshop held in Ottawa that involved roughly thirty epidemiologists, geneticists, statisticians, and journal editors.

A report on the workshop was prepared this January and subsequently updated. The guidelines will be further refined based on suggestions from workshop participants and other members of the scientific community. The organizers plan to post the draft guidelines on the Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet) Canada Coordinating Centre website later this year.

The STREGA statement has been published in several scientific journals, including the Annals of Internal Medicine, the European Journal of Epidemiology, the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Genetic Epidemiology, Human Genetics, the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, and PLoS Medicine.

The effort is an extension of the "Strengthening and Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology" guidelines and is modeled after the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidance for reporting clinical trial results.

"This is a large field of research which has created a great deal of debate between those who expect genetic information to transform medicine and health, and those who are skeptical," corresponding author Julian Little, a University of Ottawa researcher who holds the Canada Research Chair in Human Genome Epidemiology, said in a statement. "We hope this initiative will help specialists and non-specialists alike to figure out the factors in methods that help produce solid evidence on which to use genetic information."

Information on the STREGA statement can be found here.