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Integrating Clinical and Epidemiologic Data on Allergic Diseases Across Birth Cohorts: A Harmonization Study in the Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy Project

Marta Benet 1, 2 Richard Albang 3 Mariona Pinart 1, 2 Cynthia Hohmann 4 Christina Tischer 1, 2 Isabella Annesi-Maesano 5, 6, 7 Nour Baïz 5, 6, 7 Carsten Bindslev-Jensen Karin Lodrup Carlsen 8, 9 Kai-Håkon Carlsen 8, 9 Lourdes Cirugeda 1, 2 Esben Eller Maria Pia Fantini 10 Ulrike Gehring 11 Beatrix Gerhard 3 Davide Gori 10 Eva Hallner 12, 13 Inger Kull 12 Jacopo Lenzi 10 Rosemary Mceachan Eleonora Minina 3 Isabelle Momas 14, 15, 16, 17 Silvia Narduzzi Emily Petherick 18 Daniela Porta Fanny Rancière 16, 14, 15 Marie Standl Maties Torrent Alet Wijga 19 John Wright Manolis Kogevinas 1, 2 Stefano Guerra 1, 2, 20 Jordi Sunyer 1, 2 Thomas Keil 4 Jean Bousquet 21 Dieter Maier 3 Josep Antó 1, 2 Judith Garcia-Aymerich 1, 2
Abstract : The numbers of international collaborations among birth cohort studies designed to better understand asthma and allergies have increased in the last several years. However, differences in definitions and methods preclude direct pooling of original data on individual participants. As part of the Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy (MeDALL) Project, we harmonized data from 14 birth cohort studies (each with 3-20 follow-up periods) carried out in 9 European countries during 1990-1998 or 2003-2009. The harmonization process followed 6 steps: 1) organization of the harmonization panel; 2) identification of variables relevant to MeDALL objectives (candidate variables); 3) proposal of a definition for each candidate variable (reference definition); 4) assessment of the compatibility of each cohort variable with its reference definition (inferential equivalence) and classification of this inferential equivalence as complete, partial, or impossible; 5) convocation of a workshop to agree on the reference definitions and classifications of inferential equivalence; and 6) preparation and delivery of data through a knowledge management portal. We agreed on 137 reference definitions. The inferential equivalence of 3,551 cohort variables to their corresponding reference definitions was classified as complete, partial, and impossible for 70%, 15%, and 15% of the variables, respectively. A harmonized database was delivered to MeDALL investigators. In asthma and allergy birth cohorts, the harmonization of data for pooled analyses is feasible, and high inferential comparability may be achieved. The MeDALL harmonization approach can be used in other collaborative projects.
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Marta Benet, Richard Albang, Mariona Pinart, Cynthia Hohmann, Christina Tischer, et al.. Integrating Clinical and Epidemiologic Data on Allergic Diseases Across Birth Cohorts: A Harmonization Study in the Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy Project. American Journal of Epidemiology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019, 188 (2), pp.408-417. ⟨10.1093/aje/kwy242⟩. ⟨hal-02562131⟩



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