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Fulfilling the promise of Mendelian randomization

By Joseph K. Pickrell

Posted 16 Apr 2015
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/018150

Many important questions in medicine involve questions about causality, For example, do low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cause heart disease? Does high body mass index (BMI) cause type 2 diabetes? Or are these traits simply correlated in the population for other reasons? A popular approach to answering these problems using human genetics is called "Mendelian randomization". We discuss the prospects and limitations of this approach, and some ways forward.

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