JAMA article contends earlier study overstated validity of findings on bisphenol A

Feb 18, 2009

In a letter to be published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. S. Stanley Young, Assistant Director of Bioinformatics at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences, and Ming Yu, University of British Columbia, highlight the statistical limitations of a study claiming that bisphenol A is associated with cardiovascular diagnoses, diabetes and abnormal blood level liver enzyme levels.

The earlier study, published in JAMA (September 16, 2008) by Dr. Ian A. Lang and colleagues, did not adequately address the potential for multiple testing to result in a false positive result.

Young and Yu note that the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [2003-2004] that was used in Lang et al's study measured 275 environmental chemicals and a wide range of health outcomes.

Although the Lang et al study focused on one chemical and 16 health outcomes, Young and Yu note that it is important to focus on how many questions were at issue. They point out that with 32 possible health outcomes, including combinations, potentially associated with any of the 275 chemicals, along with multiple confounders and statistical models, there could be as many as approximately 9 million statistical models available to analyze the data. Given the number of questions at issue and possible modeling variations in the CDC design, Young and Yu conclude that the findings reported by the authors could well be the result of chance rather than representing real health concerns.

Source: National Institute of Statistical Sciences

Explore further: Mice study shows efficacy of new gene therapy approach for toxin exposures

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tide turns for shark fin in China

Aug 20, 2014

A sprawling market floor in Guangzhou was once a prime location for shark fin, one of China's most expensive delicacies. But now it lies deserted, thanks to a ban from official banquet tables and a celebrity-driven ...

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

Aug 07, 2014

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure ...

Young adults more likely to attend college

Jul 14, 2014

American young adults are more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to graduate from high school, and attend college, and less likely to smoke than previous generations, according to a report by the Federal Interagency ...

Recommended for you

How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses

11 hours ago

The failing in the work of nerve cells: An international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Freiburg has discovered ...

User comments : 0