Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in developed countries, despite the decline of CVD mortality over the last two decades. From observational, predictive research, efforts have been made to find causal risk factors for CVD. However, in recent years, some of these findings have been shown to be mistaken. Possible explanations for the discrepant findings are confounding and reverse causation. Genetic epidemiology has tried to address these problems through the use ofMendelian randomisation. In this paper, we discuss the promise and limitations of using genetic variation for establishing causality of cardiovascular risk factors.
- Cardiovascular risk assessment
- Instrumental variable analysis
- Mendelian randomization