Interpreting epidemiologic studies of diet and health is often complex because it involves many methodological issues and sources of uncertainty. Pertinent examples are false-positive and false-negative results, that is, findings that erroneously indicate the presence or absence, respectively, of association. Our objective in this commentary is to help nutrition and other health professionals interpret epidemiological studies when faced with this task. Our aim is not to provide an exhaustive discussion of all the methodological nuances of nutritional epidemiology; rather, we focus on some of the salient factors when interpreting findings from dietary studies, and the role that uncertainty (namely, from false-positives) plays, using relevant examples from the past few decades.
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EpidStat in the News
EpidStat presented their work on adult respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease burden in the U.S. at the ISPOR poster session on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC. Using 15 years of hospitalization data, we found that, while RSV is a less common disease than influenza, it is more severe – more deaths, longer length of stay, and higher cost. RSV in adults has been under diagnosed in the past, but it is becoming increasingly recognized as a serious cause of respiratory disease in adults, especially the elderly.