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Research Article

Clustered Environments and Randomized Genes: A Fundamental Distinction between Conventional and Genetic Epidemiology

  • George Davey Smith mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: george.davey-smith@bristol.ac.uk

    Affiliations: Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

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  • Debbie A Lawlor,

    Affiliations: Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

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  • Roger Harbord,

    Affiliation: Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

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  • Nic Timpson,

    Affiliations: Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

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  • Ian Day,

    Affiliations: Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom

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  • Shah Ebrahim

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

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  • Published: December 11, 2007
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040352

About the Authors

George Davey Smith, Debbie A Lawlor, Roger Harbord, Nic Timpson, Ian Day
Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
George Davey Smith, Debbie A Lawlor, Nic Timpson, Ian Day
Medical Research Council Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Shah Ebrahim
Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

Corresponding Author

Email: george.davey-smith@bristol.ac.uk

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

GDS, SE, and ID designed the study. DAL and RH analyzed the data. DAL and SE enrolled patients. GDS, DAL, RH, NT, ID, and SE contributed to writing the paper.