'Biomarker' research exaggerated - study

2011-06-01 13:42

kalahari.com

Washington - The search for genetic or blood-based clues that point to a range of diseases has generated much excitement in recent years, but a study out on Tuesday says much of that research is exaggerated.

Popular studies that have been widely cited in leading medical journals were among 35 analysed by John Ioannidis of Stanford University and his colleague Orestis Panagiotou from the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece.

The studies were published between 1991 and 2006 and were later referenced by a minimum of 400 future research papers, said the paper published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

But fewer than half showed significant links to disease risks in larger follow up studies.

And just one in five increased a patient's relative risk by more than 1.37, when one means no risk and two is double the risk. The median relative risk reported by the studies was 2.5.

Dramatic results

"We found that a large majority of these highly cited papers suggested substantially stronger effects than that found in the largest study of the same markers and outcomes," said Ioannidis, a prominent analyst of scientific methods.

"Many of these studies were relatively small and among the first to report on the association of interest," he said.

"Discoveries made in small studies are prone to overestimate or underestimate the actual association. Interest in publishing major discoveries leads to selective reporting from chasing significance."

Even scientists are prone to manipulating their figures to show more dramatic results, and often times meta-analyses - or a look at results from multiple independent studies - will over time reveal the true nature of the link, he added.

"We have to learn to trust the bigger picture," said Ioannidis. "And it's better to demand this proof upfront rather than waiting for it to happen on a case-by-case basis," he said.
Read more on:    research
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.