Tests for genetic association using family data

Genet Epidemiol. 2002 Feb;22(2):128-45. doi: 10.1002/gepi.0151.


We use likelihood-based score statistics to test for association between a disease and a diallelic polymorphism, based on data from arbitrary types of nuclear families. The Nonfounder statistic extends the transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) to accommodate affected and unaffected offspring, missing parental genotypes, phenotypes more general than qualitative traits, such as censored survival data and quantitative traits, and residual correlation of phenotypes within families. The Founder statistic compares observed or inferred parental genotypes to those expected in the general population. Here the genotypes of affected parents and those with many affected offspring are weighted more heavily than unaffected parents and those with few affected offspring. We illustrate the tests by applying them to data on a polymorphism of the SRD5A2 gene in nuclear families with multiple cases of prostate cancer. We also use simulations to compare the power of these family-based statistics to that of the score statistic based on Cox's partial likelihood for censored survival data, and find that the family-based statistics have considerably more power when there are many untyped parents. The software program FGAP for computing test statistics is available at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HRP/epidemiology/FGAP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Founder Effect
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Linkage Disequilibrium*
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable