Association study designs for complex diseases

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Feb;2(2):91-9. doi: 10.1038/35052543.


Assessing the association between DNA variants and disease has been used widely to identify regions of the genome and candidate genes that contribute to disease. However, there are numerous examples of associations that cannot be replicated, which has led to skepticism about the utility of the approach for common conditions. With the discovery of massive numbers of genetic markers and the development of better tools for genotyping, association studies will inevitably proliferate. Now is the time to consider critically the design of such studies, to avoid the mistakes of the past and to maximize their potential to identify new components of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium