1 Dec PhD Markku Sallmen: Validity issues in epidemiologic studies of reproductive health. Seminar series Registers as a data source for effectiveness and patient safety research, Kuopio

The seminar series 'Registers as a data source for effectiveness and patient safety research' continues on December 1st at 2.15pm-3.45pm (at SN201 Snellmania ) with ). PhD Markku Sallmen´s talk "Validity issues in epidemiologic studies of reproductive health".'

Markku Sallmén, PhD, a specialized research scientist at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. His doctoral thesis was: Fertility among workers exposed to solvents or lead (FIOH. People and Work, Research Reports 37. Helsinki 2000). He was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NC, USA in 2002–2003. His research has focused on the effects of occupational exposures on reproductive health. His particular interests are in studies of fertility including methodological issues. The number of his peer reviewed publications is 44, chapters of textbooks 8, and other publications 11. He has experience in research project management (both national and international) and in international collaboration with research groups from Europe and the USA. He has been a part of a supervising team of two academic dissertations. He has conducted epidemiological training of occupational specialists or researchers in several national and international courses.

Validity issues in epidemiologic studies of reproductive health

Reproductive epidemiology is a challenging field of research. There are several endpoints of interest such as minor developmental disorders, birth defects, fetal death, miscarriage, reduced fertility, and sterility, all of which can be associated with environmental and occupational exposures. There is need to consider both female and male factors and possibly also two generations. Exposure time windows differ from that in studies of other health outcomes, and also by gender.

There are several sources of systematic error i.e. bias – some of which are intrinsic to reproductive epidemiology. Infertile worker effect, self-selection out from the pool of at risk of pregnancy, behavior modification on the basis of reproductive experience, and reverse causality have been found or suspected in studies of fertility. The well-known heterogeneity in capacity to reproduce combined with desired family size, use of contraception, induced abortions, and use of assisted reproductive technologies has made it difficult to attain valid results.

The focus of the presentation will be on occupational settings and validity problems in studies of couple fertility and adverse pregnancy outcome. Examples will be given from various types of bias as well as from tools to recognize and reduce the potential for bias.

All interested participants are warmly welcome and no pre-registration is required. The program of the seminar series is available at http://www.uef.fi/documents/2048437/2362854/REGEPI_14autum15spring.pdf/1b8d523e-0516-4981-ba0d-c2120fd0c237.

Additional Information: Irma Nykänen, Research Centre for Comparative Effectiveness and Patient Safety, Irma.nykanen(at)uef.fi

Publishing year: 2014

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