Skip to content

Research Techniques Made Simple: Using Genetic Variants for Randomization

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1416-1421.e1
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number7
Early online date20 Jun 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Mar 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2019


Observational epidemiological studies have identified associations between a number of modifiable exposures and outcomes, including in dermatology, such as between smoking and psoriasis. However, it is challenging to determine if such relationships are causal, due to the potential of confounding and reverse causation. Mendelian Randomization (MR) is a statistical method which can be used to investigate the causal relationships between an exposure and outcome, by using a genetic instrument that proxies the exposure. The resulting estimate (under certain assumptions) can be interpreted as the causal estimate, free of confounding and reverse causation. In this review, we provide an overview of how to undertake an MR analysis, with examples from the dermatology literature. We also discuss the challenges and future directions of this method.

    Research areas

  • Epidemiology, Genetics, Inflammatory skin diseases, Statistics



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 511 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 20/06/20

    Request copy

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups