Objectives: Because observational studies often use imperfect measurements, results are prone to misclassification errors. We used as a motivating example the possible teratogenic risks of antiemetic agents in pregnancy since a large observational study recently showed that first-trimester exposure to doxylamine-pyridoxine was associated with significantly increased risk of congenital malformations as a whole, as well as central nervous system defects, and previous observational studies did not show such associations. A meta-analysis on this issue was carried out with the aim to illustrate how differential exposure and outcome misclassifications may lead to uncertain conclusions. Methods: Medline, searched to October 2019 for full text papers in English. Summary Odds Ratios (ORs) with confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random-effect models. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed for evaluating the extension of differential misclassification required to account for the exposure-outcome association. Results: Summary ORs were 1.02 (95% CI, 0.92 to 1.15), 0.99 (0.82 to 1.19) and 1.25 (1.08 to 1.44) for overall congenital, cardiocirculatory, and central nervous system malformations respectively. By assuming exposure and outcome bias factor respectively of 0.95 (i.e., newborns with congenital defects had exposure specificity 5% lower than healthy newborns) and 1.12 (i.e., exposed newborns had outcome sensitivity 12% higher than unexposed newborns), summary OR of central nervous system defects became 1.13 (95% CI, 0.99 to 1.29) and 1.17 (95% CI, 0.99 to 1.38). Conclusion: Observational investigations and meta-analyses of observational studies need cautious interpretations. Their susceptibility to several, often sneaky, sources of bias should be carefully evaluated.
Biffi, A., Rea, F., Locatelli, A., Cetin, I., Filippelli, A., & Corrao, G. (2021). Misleading meta-analyses of observational studies may generate unjustified alarms: The case of medications for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. PHARMACOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 105229(January 2021) [10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105229].
|Citazione:||Biffi, A., Rea, F., Locatelli, A., Cetin, I., Filippelli, A., & Corrao, G. (2021). Misleading meta-analyses of observational studies may generate unjustified alarms: The case of medications for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. PHARMACOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 105229(January 2021) [10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105229].|
|Tipo:||Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Presenza di un coautore afferente ad Istituzioni straniere:||No|
|Titolo:||Misleading meta-analyses of observational studies may generate unjustified alarms: The case of medications for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy|
|Autori:||Biffi, A; Rea, F; Locatelli, A; Cetin, I; Filippelli, A; Corrao, G|
BIFFI, ANNALISA (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105229|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|