Identifying the environmental causes of disease

Working group report on research into the environmental causes of disease addressed increasing scepticism among professionals and members of the public that had arisen when claims from a study were so soon contradicted by those of another.

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In 2006 the Academy of Medical Sciences established a working group on research into the environmental causes of disease. Its objective was to address increasing scepticism amongst professionals and members of the public that had arisen when claims from one study were so soon contradicted by those of another.

For instance, until recently hormone replacement therapy was thought to protect against cardiovascular disease, but it is now thought to be a risk factor. Nevertheless, in some cases, such as the link between smoking and lung cancer, research on the environmental causes of disease has clearly been of great value to public health.

The final report of the working group sets out five key recommendations and offers guidelines for the wide range of stakeholders involved in generating, communicating and translating research into the environmental causes of disease into policy and practice. A synopsis, summary of the stakeholder workshop that informed the working group's discussions and press release accompany the report.

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