Browsing by Subject "causality"

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  • Elovainio, Marko; Hakulinen, Christian; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli T. (2020)
    We modeled early psychosocial risks as a network of interconnected variables to study their associations with later depressive symptoms and cardiometabolic outcomes. The participants were a nationally representative sample of 2580 men and women aged 3-18 years in 1980. Their parents reported the psychosocial risks in 1980, including the following: (1) child-specific life events, (2) parental health behavior, (3) parental socioeconomic status, and (4) parental psychological problems. Adulthood depressive symptoms and cardiometabolic outcomes were measured in 2007-2012. The most central risks (most number of connections to other risks) were socioeconomic risks that also predicted health outcomes more consistently than others.
  • Tikkanen, Ilpo (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1981)
  • Sipila, Pyry; Rose, Richard J.; Kaprio, Jaakko (2016)
    AimsTo determine if associations of alcohol consumption with all-cause mortality replicate in discordant monozygotic twin comparisons that control for familial and genetic confounds. DesignA 30-year prospective follow-up. SettingPopulation-based older Finnish twin cohort. ParticipantsSame-sex twins, aged 24-60years at the end of 1981, without overt comorbidities, completed questionnaires in 1975 and 1981 with response rates of 89 and 84%. A total of 15607 twins were available for mortality follow-up from the date of returned 1981 questionnaires to 31December 2011; 14787 twins with complete information were analysed. MeasurementsSelf-reported monthly alcohol consumption, heavy drinking occasions (HDO) and alcohol-induced blackouts. Adjustments for age, gender, marital and smoking status, physical activity, obesity, education and social class. FindingsAmong twins as individuals, high levels of monthly alcohol consumption (259g/month) associated with earlier mortality [hazard ratio (HR)=1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.47-1.81]. That association was replicated in comparisons of all informatively drinking-discordant twin pairs (HR=1.91, 95% CI=1.49-2.45) and within discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs (HR=2.24, 95% CI=1.31-3.85), with comparable effect size. Smaller samples of MZ twins discordant for HDO and blackouts limited power; a significant association with mortality was found for multiple blackouts (HR=2.82, 95% CI=1.30-6.08), but not for HDO. ConclusionsThe associations of high levels of monthly alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced blackouts with increased all-cause mortality among Finnish twins cannot be explained by familial or genetic confounds; the explanation appears to be causal.
  • Olufeagba, Olugbenga (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2016)
    Economics and Society – 293
    Asset price movements play credible role as leading indicator for activity, financial distress and general economic wellbeing, and as such, are closely monitored by investors and policymakers alike. All assets’ prices are expressed in a unit of account, usually the home currency of the jurisdiction in which the asset is domiciled, and the values of these currencies continually vary, depending on the balance of demand and supply. The continuous variation in the value of currencies suggests that, at best, they can only be an inappropriate unit of measure of an asset. This dissertation aims to shed more light on why single currencies are inaccurate units of measure of asset prices. Our first study investigates how the currency of valuation affects the outcome of the return and volatility spillovers between the stock market and the foreign exchange (FX) market. Evidence from our study suggests the presence of exchange rate premium in asset prices, which in turn significantly affects the nature of the relationship between the equity and FX markets when asset prices are measured in an aggregate unit of account rather than pair-wise or single currency. In our second study, we examine the currency effect on the predictability of stock returns in the short term. Although previous studies have concentrated on investigating the factors or models that best predict asset returns, our study investigates the effect of currency of valuation on stock return predictability. Our results suggest that reducing the volatility of the variables by valuing them in an aggregate unit of account improves the predictability of stock returns on the short horizon. Our last study investigates the currency effect on the long-term relationship between the stock market and macroeconomic variables. Our results show evidence of significant changes in the relations between the stock market and macroeconomic variables with the introduction of the aggregate currency factor, marked by reducing the effect of the aggregate currency-denominated US macroeconomic variables on the aggregate currency-denominated stock index. Moreover, the results show that the previously documented relations between the stock market and macroeconomic variables, without accounting for the influence of the currency of valuation, might not necessarily hold when the currency factor is discounted.
  • Jia, Qiong; Han, Yi; Huang, Pin; Woodward, Nicholas C.; Gukasyan, Janet; Kettunen, Johannes; Ala-Korpela, Mika; Anufrieva, Olga; Wang, Qin; Perola, Markus; Raitakari, Olli; Lehtimaki, Terho; Viikari, Jorma; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Boehnke, Michael; Laakso, Markku; Mohlke, Karen L.; Fiehn, Oliver; Wang, Zeneng; Tang, W. H. Wilson; Hazen, Stanley L.; Hartiala, Jaana A.; Allayee, Hooman (2019)
    Background-Recent studies have revealed sexually dimorphic associations between the carbamoyl-phosphate synthase 1 locus, intermediates of the metabolic pathway leading from choline to urea, and risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) in women. Based on evidence from the literature, the atheroprotective association with carbamoyl-phosphate synthase 1 could be mediated by the strong genetic effect of this locus on increased circulating glycine levels. Methods and Results-We sought to identify additional genetic determinants of circulating glycine levels by carrying out a metaanalysis of genome-wide association study data in up to 30 118 subjects of European ancestry. Mendelian randomization and other analytical approaches were used to determine whether glycine-associated variants were associated with CAD and traditional risk factors. Twelve loci were significantly associated with circulating glycine levels, 7 of which were not previously known to be involved in glycine metabolism (ACADM, PHGDH, COX1 8-ADAMTS3, PSPH, TRIB 1 , PTPRD, and ABO). Glycine-raising alleles at several loci individually exhibited directionally consistent associations with decreased risk of CAD. However, these effects could not be attributed directly to glycine because of associations with other CAD-related traits. By comparison, genetic models that only included the 2 variants directly involved in glycine degradation and for which there were no other pleiotropic associations were not associated with risk of CAD or blood pressure, lipid levels, and obesity-related traits. Conclusions-These results provide additional insight into the genetic architecture of glycine metabolism, but do not yield conclusive evidence for a causal relationship between circulating levels of this amino acid and risk of CAD in humans.
  • Said, M. Abdullah; Yeung, Ming Wai; van de Vegte, Yordi J.; Benjamins, Jan Walter; Dullaart, Robin P. F.; Ruotsalainen, Sanni; Ripatti, Samuli; Natarajan, Pradeep; Juarez-Orozco, Luis Eduardo; Verweij, Niek; van der Harst, P. (2021)
    Objective: Lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) but also to LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. The genetic architecture of Lp(a) remains incompletely understood, as well as its independence of LDL cholesterol in its association to CAD. We investigated the genetic determinants of Lp(a) concentrations in a large prospective multiethnic cohort. We tested the association for potential causality between genetically determined higher Lp(a) concentrations and CAD using a multivariable Mendelian randomization strategy. Approach and Results: We studied 371 212 participants of the UK Biobank with available Lp(a) and genome-wide genetic data. Genome-wide association analyses confirmed 2 known and identified 37 novel loci (P Conclusions: This study supports an LDL cholesterol-independent causal link between Lp(a) and CAD. A rare missense variant in the LPA gene locus appears to be protective in people with the Lp(a) increasing variant of rs10455872. In the search for therapeutic targets of Lp(a), future work should focus on understanding the functional consequences of this missense variant.
  • Lemmelä, Susanna; Wigmore, Eleanor M.; Benner, Christian; Havulinna, Aki S.; Ong, Rachel M. Y.; Kempf, Tibor; Wollert, Kai C.; Blankenberg, Stefan; Zeller, Tanja; Peters, James E.; Salomaa, Veikko; Fritsch, Maria; March, Ruth; Palotie, Aarno; Daly, Mark; Butterworth, Adam S.; Kinnunen, Mervi; Paul, Dirk S.; Matakidou, Athena (2022)
    Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF15) is a stress response cytokine that is elevated in several cardiometabolic diseases and has attracted interest as a potential therapeutic target. To further explore the association of GDF15 with human disease, we conducted a broad study into the phenotypic and genetic correlates of GDF15 concentration in up to 14,099 individuals. Assessment of 772 traits across 6610 participants in FINRISK identified associations of GDF15 concentration with a range of phenotypes including all-cause mortality, cardiometabolic disease, respiratory diseases and psychiatric disorders, as well as inflammatory markers. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of GDF15 concentration across three different assay platforms (n=14,099) confirmed significant heterogeneity due to a common missense variant (rs1058587; p.H202D) in GDF15, potentially due to epitope-binding artefacts. After conditioning on rs1058587, statistical fine mapping identified four independent putative causal signals at the locus. Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis found evidence of a causal relationship between GDF15 concentration and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) but not body mass index (BMI). Using reverse MR, we identified a potential causal association of BMI on GDF15 (IVW p(FDR) = 0.0040). Taken together, our data derived from human population cohorts do not support a role for moderately elevated GDF15 concentrations as a causal factor in human cardiometabolic disease but support its role as a biomarker of metabolic stress.
  • Pylkkänen, Paavo (Springer International Publishing AG, 2019)
    Synthese Library (Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science)
    The received view in physicalist philosophy of mind assumes that causation can only take place at the physical domain and that the physical domain is causally closed. It is often thought that this leaves no room for mental states qua mental to have a causal influence upon the physical domain, leading to epiphenomenalism and the problem of mental causation. However, in recent philosophy of causation there has been growing interest in a line of thought that can be called causal antifundamentalism: causal notions cannot play a role in physics, because the fundamental laws of physics are radically different from causal laws. Causal anti-fundamentalism seems to challenge the received view in physicalist philosophy of mind and thus raises the possibility of there being genuine mental causation after all. This paper argues that while causal anti-fundamentalism provides a possible route to mental causation, we have reasons to think that it is incorrect. Does this mean that we have to accept the received view and give up the hope of genuine mental causation? I will suggest that the ontological interpretation of quantum theory provides us both with a view about the nature of causality in fundamental physics, as well as a view how genuine mental causation can be compatible with our fundamental (quantum) physical ontology.
  • Mireles-Flores, Luis (2018)
    This essay is a review of the recent literature on the methodology of economics, with a focus on three broad trends that have defined the core lines of research within the discipline during the last two decades. These trends are: (a) the philosophical analysis of economic modelling and economic explanation; (b) the epistemology of causal inference, evidence diversity, and evidence-based policy, and (c) the investigation of the methodological underpinnings and public policy implications of behavioural economics. The final output is inevitably not exhaustive, yet it aims at offering a fair taste of some of the most representative questions in the field on which many philosophers, methodologists, and social scientists have recently been placing a great deal of intellectual effort. The topics and references compiled in this review should serve at least as safe introductions to some of the central research questions in the philosophy and methodology of economics.
  • Annila, Arto (2021)
    About a century ago, in the spirit of ancient atomism, the quantum of light was renamed the photon to suggest that it is the fundamental element of everything. Since the photon carries energy in its period of time, a flux of photons inexorably embodies a flow of time. Thus, time comprises periods as a trek comprises legs. The flows of quanta naturally select optimal paths (i.e., geodesics) to level out energy differences in the least amount of time. The corresponding flow equations can be written, but they cannot be solved. Since the flows affect their driving forces, affecting the flows, and so on, the forces (i.e., causes) and changes in motions (i.e., consequences) are inseparable. Thus, the future remains unpredictable. However, it is not all arbitrary but rather bounded by free energy. Eventually, when the system has attained a stationary state where forces tally, there are no causes and no consequences. Since there are no energy differences between the system and its surroundings, the quanta only orbit on and on. Thus, time does not move forward either but circulates.
  • Sulkunen, Pekka Juhani (2018)
  • Savolainen, Dominic (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study attempts to discover the best predictors of mathematics and language learning outcomes across Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania by analysing World Bank SDI data and using machine learning methods for variable selection purposes. Firstly, I use the SDI data to show the current fragilities in the quality of education service delivery, while also highlighting deficiencies in student learning outcomes. Then, I use CV Lasso, Adaptive Lasso, and Elastic Net regularisation methods to help discover the best predictors of learning outcomes. While the results from the regularisation methods show that private schools, teacher subject knowledge, and teacher pedagogical skills are good predictors of learning outcomes in a sample combining observations from Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania, the results fail to infer causality by not distinguishing if unobservable factors are driving the results. To quantify the relationship of key predictors, and for statistical significance testing purposes, I then conduct subsequent OLS analysis. Despite not expecting the true partial derivative effects to be identical to the OLS coefficients presented in this study, this study highlights deficiencies in education service delivery and applies methods which help select key predictors of learning outcomes across the sampled schools in the SDI data.