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Response to: ‘Role of linoleic acid in autoimmune disorders: aMendelian randomisation study’ by Lee et al
  1. Jie V Zhao1,
  2. C Mary Schooling1,2
  1. 1 School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  2. 2 School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York, New York City, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jie V Zhao, School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; janezhao410{at}

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We are pleased that our article on the role of linoleic acid (LA) in autoimmune disorders is of interest to readers. However, regarding the methodological issues raised by Lee,1 several points need to be considered and clarified.

First, Mendelian randomisation (MR) requires stringent assumptions, that is, the genetic instruments are associated with the exposure, are not linked with the outcomes other than via effects on the exposure and no confounders of the associations of the genetic instruments with the outcome exist.2 We agree that weak instruments which violate these assumptions would lead to biased associations. As such, we are very cautious in the selection of genetic instruments. Specifically, we used the most significant three uncorrelated (r2<0.01) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a genome-wide association …

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  • Handling editor Josef S Smolen

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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