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Activity Number: 400
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Epidemiology
Abstract #318076 View Presentation
Title: Graphical Tools to Detect and Adjust for Invalid Instruments in Mendelian Randomization
Author(s): Jack Bowden*
Companies: University of Bristol
Keywords: Meta-analysis ; Causal inference ; Funnel plot ; Estimating equations ; Egger regression ; MR-Egger regression

The funnel plot is a graphical visualisation of summary data estimates from a meta-analysis, and is a useful tool for detecting departures from the standard modelling assumptions. Although perhaps not widely appreciated, a simple extension of the funnel plot can help to facilitate an intuitive interpretation of the mathematics underlying a meta-analysis at a more fundamental level, by equating it to determining the centre of mass of a physical system. We exploit this fact to forge new connections between statistical inference and bias adjustment in the evidence synthesis and causal inference literatures. An on-line web application (named the `Meta-Analyzer') is introduced to further facilitate this physical analogy. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of the Meta-Analyzer as a tool for detecting and adjusting for invalid instruments within the context of Mendelian randomization.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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