Guidelines for performing Mendelian randomization investigations

Stephen Burgess*, George Davey Smith, Neil M Davies, Frank Dudbridge, Dipender Gill, Maria Glymour, Fernando Pires Hartwig, Michael V Holmes, Cosetta Minelli, Caroline L Relton, Evropi Theodoratou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

251 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


This paper provides guidelines for performing Mendelian randomization investigations. It is aimed at practitioners seeking to undertake analyses and write up their findings, and at journal editors and reviewers seeking to assess Mendelian randomization manuscripts. The guidelines are divided into nine sections: motivation and scope, data sources, choice of genetic variants, variant harmonization, primary analysis, supplementary and
sensitivity analyses (one section on robust statistical methods and one on other approaches), data presentation, and interpretation. These guidelines will be updated based on feedback from the community and advances in the field. Updates will be made periodically as needed, and at least every 18 months.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalWellcome Open Research
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020


  • Mendelian randomization
  • guidelines
  • genetic epidemiology
  • causal inference


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