Article Spotlight: Getting to Know Altmetrics

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

Altmetrics is a term you’ve probably heard of, but what does it really mean?  Altmetrics is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of “alternative metrics”. They are useful supplementary measures of impact, best used in tandem with traditional measures like citation counts. In short, Altmetrics is all about illustrating the full impact of a scientific work.

PlumX , is a tool that gives researchers and institutions a more complete view of the impact of their publications by harvesting and aggregating altmetrics data in five major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations.

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we will take a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at a multi-author article with contributions by Dr. Paolo Boffetta, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Population Sciences of The Tisch Cancer Institute and Chief of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Department of Oncological Sciences.  He is also the Bluhdorn Professor of International Community Medicine.

Citation: Etemadi A, Kamangar F, Islami F, Abney C, Malekzadeh R, Brennan P, Boffetta P, et al. Mortality and cancer in relation to ABO blood group phenotypes in the Golestan Cohort Study. BMC Med. 2015;13:8.

Article Summary: This large cohort study investigates the association between blood group alleles and disease incidence.


BACKGROUND: A few studies have shown an association between blood group alleles and vascular disease, including atherosclerosis, which is thought to be due to the higher level of von Willebrand factor in these individuals and the association of blood group locus variants with plasma lipid levels. No large population-based study has explored this association with overall and cause-specific mortality. METHODS: We aimed to study the association between ABO blood groups and overall and cause-specific mortality in the Golestan Cohort Study. In this cohort, 50,045 people 40- to 70-years old were recruited between 2004 and 2008, and followed annually to capture all incident cancers and deaths due to any cause. We used Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, smoking, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, place of residence, education and opium use. RESULTS: During a total of 346,708 person-years of follow-up (mean duration 6.9 years), 3,623 cohort participants died. Non-O blood groups were associated with significantly increased total mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01 to 1.17) and cardiovascular disease mortality (HR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.27). Blood group was not significantly associated with overall cancer mortality, but people with group A, group B, and all non-O blood groups combined had increased risk of incident gastric cancer. In a subgroup of cohort participants, we also showed higher plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in those with blood group A. CONCLUSIONS: Non-O blood groups have an increased mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular diseases, which may be due to the effect of blood group alleles on blood biochemistry or their effect on von Willebrand factor and factor VIII levels.

URL to this article on PlumX

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