Design issues in cross-sectional biomarkers studies: Urinary biomarkers of PAH exposure and oxidative stress

Daehee Kang, Kyoung Ho Lee, Kyoung Mu Lee, Ho Jang Kwon, Yun Chul Hong, Soo Hun Cho, Paul T. Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-sectional biomarker studies can provide a snapshot of the frequency and characteristics of exposure/disease in a population at a particular point in time and, as a result, valuable insights for delineating the multi-step association between exposure and disease occurrence. Three major issues should be considered when designing biomarker studies: selection of appropriate biomarkers, the assay (laboratory validity), and the population validity of the selected biomarkers. Factors related to biomarker selection include biological relevance, specificity, sensitivity, biological half-life, stability, and so on. The assay attributes include limit of detection, reproducibility/reliability, inter-laboratory variation, specificity, time, and cost. Factors related to the population validity include the frequency or prevalence of markers, greater inter-individual variation than intra-individual variation, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), association with potential confounders, invasiveness of specimen collection, and subject selection. Three studies are selected to demonstrate different features of cross-sectional biomarker studies: (1) characterizing the determinants of the biomarkers (study I: urinary PAH metabolites and environmental particulate exposure), (2) relationship of multiple biomarkers of exposure and effect (study II: relationship between urinary PAH metabolites and oxidative stress), and (3) evaluating gene-environmental interaction (study III: effect of genetic polymorphisms of GSTM1 on the association of green tea consumption and urinary 1-OHPG levels in shipbuilding workers).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 30 2005


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Design
  • Green tea
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Urinary biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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