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Review

The role of longitudinal cohort studies in epigenetic epidemiology: challenges and opportunities

Jane WY Ng12, Laura M Barrett1, Andrew Wong3, Diana Kuh1, George Davey Smith4 and Caroline L Relton1*

Author affiliations

1 Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, NE1 3BZ, UK

2 Clinician Investigator Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada

3 MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Aging, London, WC1B 5JU, UK

4 MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology (CAiTE), School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK

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Citation and License

Genome Biology 2012, 13:246  doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-6-246

Published: 29 June 2012

Abstract

Longitudinal cohort studies are ideal for investigating how epigenetic patterns change over time and relate to changing exposure patterns and the development of disease. We highlight the challenges and opportunities in this approach.

Keywords:
Epigenomics; DNA methylation; life course; longitudinal studies