Skip to content

Epidemiology: looking back on 2012 and looking forward to 2013

January 16, 2013

Wave erasing 2012 written on the sand with 2013 on foreground2012 was a gratifying year, filled with discussions on future directions in epidemiology that were open, productive, and creative.  The NHLBI Digital Forum has been one avenue of discussion and we appreciate all of the contributions that we received.  Several of the discussions led to specific actions within the NHLBI’s Epidemiology Branch.  A workshop is being planned for 2013 that will focus on the value, strengths, and weaknesses of embedding clinical trials within observational studies.  A second workshop is being planned for 2013 assessing the role of existing medical data collection systems in surveillance of cardiovascular diseases.  There will be additional emphasis on developing methods to obtain higher quality data at lower costs. 

In this post, we now ask an open question to our readers:  for 2013, what do you think should be a high priority Funding Opportunity Announcement for observational studies that could be proposed by the NHLBI?

Posted by the Epidemiology Branch, NHLBI

One Comment leave one →
  1. Stephen Rich permalink
    February 2, 2013 11:13 am

    In this era of reduced support for research, the NHLBI has to leverage its existing resources that represent an investment in future science and applicability to reduce the burden of heart, lung and blood disorders. One of the largest allocations by the NHLBI has been in the establishing the population laboratory for cardiovascular diseases, represented by cohorts such as ARIC, CARDIA, CHS, Framingham, Jackson Heart, MESA, WHI and others. As these cohorts (with the possible exception of CHS) have continued to follow the progression of risk factors and predictors of disease, they have also been pushing boundaries in imaging, biochemical markers (biomarkes) and genomics. A possible limitation is that these initiatives have been driven through the individual cohorts and through cohort-member ancillary studies; thus, with the large population base and historical data available, the ability to integrate harmonized measures across cohorts is limited, often to a series of standard measurements that may not be the most innovative. Thus, I would see as important initiatives for the future relate to a greater coordination of the cohorts in part (but not fully) to (a) continue the follow-up and measurement in all cohorts of emergent risk factors and biomarkers, (b) stimulate the integration of basic science within the cohorts to address fundamental questions of biology related to measured outcomes, and (c) reach out more effectively to basic and clinical investigators who have not been aligned with the cohorts to bring new technologies and concepts (e.g., more vascular biology, immunology and cell biology) that can utilize existing data/samples or target the collection of new data. Thus, coordination, integration and expansion to maximize the existing (and future) investment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s