The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration: analysis of individual data on lipid, inflammatory and other markers in over 1.1 million participants in 104 prospective studies of cardiovascular diseases
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Many long-term prospective studies have reported on associations of cardiovascular diseases with circulating lipid markers and/or inflammatory markers. Studies have not, however, generally been designed to provide reliable estimates under different circumstances and to correct for within-person variability. The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration has established a central database on over 1.1 million participants from 104 prospective population-based studies, in which subsets have information on lipid and inflammatory markers, other characteristics, as well as major cardiovascular morbidity and cause-specific mortality. Information on repeat measurements on relevant characteristics has been collected in approximately 340,000 participants to enable estimation of and correction for within-person variability. Re-analysis of individual data will yield up to approximately 69,000 incident fatal or nonfatal first ever major cardiovascular outcomes recorded during about 11.7 million person years at risk. The primary analyses will involve age-specific regression models in people without known baseline cardiovascular disease in relation to fatal or nonfatal first ever coronary heart disease outcomes. This initiative will characterize more precisely and in greater detail than has previously been possible the shape and strength of the age- and sex-specific associations of several lipid and inflammatory markers with incident coronary heart disease outcomes (and, secondarily, with other incident cardiovascular outcomes) under a wide range of circumstances. It will, therefore, help to determine to what extent such associations are independent from possible confounding factors and to what extent such markers (separately and in combination) provide incremental predictive value.