2014 Volume 24 Issue 2 Pages 96-101
Meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD meta-analysis) has several advantages over meta-analysis using aggregated published data, including the possibility of using statistical methods such as a fine stratification analysis, interaction analysis between 2 risk factors, and absolute risk estimation. The Evidence for Cardiovascular Prevention from Observational Cohorts in Japan Study (EPOCH-JAPAN), which was initiated in 2005, is a collaborative research project for IPD meta-analysis and includes 13 participating cohort studies in Japan. We generated 2 pooled databases with data on all-cause mortality (n = 199 047) and cardiovascular outcomes (n = 90 528) and applied a stratified Cox model to account for the different baseline hazards between cohorts. The results of our analyses show the age- and sex-specific associations between all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality and established cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, smoking, total cholesterol, proteinuria, and kidney function). During the 9 years of its existence, the results generated by EPOCH-JAPAN have had important implications for clinical medicine and public health policy in Japan. The project is expected to draw upon new analytical methods such as interaction analysis and absolute risk evaluation in the near future. We believe that, over the next decade, this project will continue to provide new insights that can be applied to research on other Asian populations.