Secondary Analyses in Obesity, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Article excerpt

The specific objectives of this announcement on Secondary Analyses In Obesity, Diabetes, Digestive And Kidney Diseases are to support the following: (a) research on secondary analyses of data related to the epidemiology of disease areas of NIDDK; (b) preliminary projects using secondary analysis that could lead to subsequent applications for individual research awards; (c) rapid analyses of new databases and experimental modules to inform the design and content of future studies; (d) the archiving of data sets to be made publicly available for research purposes related to disease areas of NIDDK, including both epidemiological studies and multi-center clinical trials.

Research that employs analytic techniques that demonstrate or promote methodological advances in patient-oriented and epidemiologic research is also of interest. International comparative analyses are encouraged. Applications that are innovative and high risk with the likelihood for high impact would be especially encouraged.

Patient-oriented and epidemiologic research projects, particularly multicenter projects, typically generate data with potential utility beyond the specific hypotheses and questions for which they were designed. Often data are not fully analyzed, especially when unexpected research questions emerge after the end of the project's funding period. Analyzing such existing data sets can therefore provide a cost-effective means to test specific hypotheses that have not been adequately examined. The further analysis of existing research data may also be prompted by a need to confirm new findings or to aid in the development of new research questions.

Applicants may conduct secondary analyses using data from a variety of sources. These would include investigator-initiated research activities, cooperative agreements, and contracts or from other public or private sources. Sources may be large, nationally representative data sets such as those of the National Center for Health Statistics or smaller, regional or locally based data sets. Also appropriate for secondary analyses are relevant cross-sectional and longitudinal survey data collected by federal, state, and local government agencies. Secondary data analyses of these data may serve as an economical alternative to expensive and time-consuming new data collection projects. Applicants may also secure access to other data sets that may or may not be in the public domain, such as those collected under research grant funds, sponsored by private entities, or originally collected for purposes other than research, such as health care administrative data sets.

In addition to the examination of specific research hypotheses, existing data sets may also be used to cross-validate exploratory analyses in ongoing studies, to test complex statistical models, and in special circumstances to provide comparison groups for experimental studies. Moreover, secondary analysis is appropriate for many types of data, including qualitative information, and may also cover the integration of quantitative and qualitative data.

NIDDK has established a repository for the archiving of data sets, as well as genetics and tissues from NIDDK sponsored clinical trials and epidemiological studies (http://pubnts06.rti.org/niddk/ home.do). Applicants are encouraged to consider the research opportunities available in this NIDDK resource.

A major interest of NIDDK is supporting secondary data analyses in the causes, burden, natural history, and treatment and medical care of overweight and obesity, including analyses of behavioral/environmental factors that may be predictive of long term weight maintenance or prevention of weight gain. Other specific subject areas are restricted to those on which NIDDK conducts research, which include diabetes and endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutritional disorders, including eating disorders; and kidney, urological, and hematological diseases. …