European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 797–810 | Cite as

STrengthening the reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology—Molecular Epidemiology (STROBE-ME): an extension of the STROBE statement

  • Valentina GalloEmail author
  • Matthias Egger
  • Valerie McCormack
  • Peter B. Farmer
  • John P. A. Ioannidis
  • Micheline Kirsch-Volders
  • Giuseppe Matullo
  • David H. Phillips
  • Bernadette Schoket
  • Ulf Stromberg
  • Roel Vermeulen
  • Christopher Wild
  • Miquel Porta
  • Paolo Vineis


Advances in laboratory techniques have led to a rapidly increasing use of biomarkers in epidemiological studies. Biomarkers of internal dose, early biological change, susceptibility, and clinical outcomes are used as proxies for investigating the interactions between external and/or endogenous agents and the body components or processes. The need for improved reporting of scientific research led to influential statements of recommendations such as STrengthening Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement. The STROBE initiative established in 2004 aimed to provide guidance on how to report observational research. Its guidelines provide a user-friendly checklist of 22 items to be reported in epidemiological studies, with items specific to the three main study designs: cohort studies, case–control studies and cross-sectional studies. The present STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology—Molecular Epidemiology (STROBE-ME) initiative builds on the STROBE Statement implementing 9 existing items of STROBE and providing 17 additional items to the 22 items of STROBE checklist. The additions relate to the use of biomarkers in epidemiological studies, concerning collection, handling and storage of biological samples; laboratory methods, validity and reliability of biomarkers; specificities of study design; and ethical considerations. The STROBE-ME recommendations are intended to complement the STROBE recommendations.


Epidemiology Molecular epidemiology Biomarkers Validation Reporting recommendations 



This paper is part of an activity sponsored by the ECNIS network (EC grant FOOD-CT-2005-513943) ( We acknowledge the contribution of Dan Segerbäck, Jim Vaught, Soterios Kyrtopoulos, Franz Oesch, Jelle Vlaanderen, and Jouni Jaakkola to the discussion of an earlier version of the paper. We also would like to thank all the reviewers for their valuable contribution and constructive feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Gallo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Matthias Egger
    • 3
  • Valerie McCormack
    • 4
  • Peter B. Farmer
    • 5
  • John P. A. Ioannidis
    • 6
    • 7
  • Micheline Kirsch-Volders
    • 8
  • Giuseppe Matullo
    • 9
    • 10
  • David H. Phillips
    • 11
  • Bernadette Schoket
    • 12
  • Ulf Stromberg
    • 13
  • Roel Vermeulen
    • 14
  • Christopher Wild
    • 4
  • Miquel Porta
    • 15
  • Paolo Vineis
    • 1
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Social and Environmental Health ResearchLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)University of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.International Agency for Research On Cancer, Centre International de Recherche sur le Cancer (IARC)LyonFrance
  5. 5.Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular MedicineUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  6. 6.Stanford Prevention Research CentreStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  7. 7.Department of Hygiene and EpidemiologyUniversity of Ioannina School of MedicineIoanninaGreece
  8. 8.Laboratory for Cell GeneticsVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  9. 9.HuGeF Human Genetics FoundationTurinItaly
  10. 10.Department of Genetics, Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  11. 11.Institute of Cancer ResearchSuttonUK
  12. 12.National Institute of Environmental HealthBudapestHungary
  13. 13.Division of Occupational and Environmental MedicineLund UniversityLundSweden
  14. 14.Division Environmental EpidemiologyInstitute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  15. 15.Institut Municipal d’Investigacio Medica (IMIM)Universitat Autonoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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