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Principles of Exposure Measurement in EpidemiologyCollecting, Evaluating, and Improving Measures of Disease Risk Factors$
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Emily White, Bruce K. Armstrong, and Rodolfo Saracci

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.001.0001

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Measurements in the human body or its products

Measurements in the human body or its products

Chapter:
(p.285) 9 Measurements in the human body or its products
Source:
Principles of Exposure Measurement in Epidemiology
Author(s):

Emily White

Bruce K. Armstrong

Rodolfo Saracci

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.003.0009

Measurements made directly on the human body or on samples of blood, urine, or other products are in principle ideal to measure exposures. They can be objective, individualized, quantitatively specific, and sensitive, although these favourable properties should not be taken for granted but evaluated for each measurement method. The sampling of the specimens must be made in the correct compartment of the body at the appropriate time, as xenobiotic compounds are successively absorbed, distributed in various body compartments, transformed, and excreted. On the other hand, endobiotic compounds like hormones are subject to substantial daily variations in their concentration in the body fluids. The materials used for sampling, the sampling procedures, and the storage and analysis of biological specimens require systematic quality control. This need is reinforced by the current trend towards the establishment of large depositories or ‘banks’ of biological specimens to be analyzed in the future on a case-control basis.

Keywords:   biomarkers, biochemical assay, genetic assay, endobiotics, laboratory quality control, sampling, specimens bank, xenobiotics

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