Association mapping for complex diseases using unrelated individuals can be more powerful than family-based analysis in many settings. In addition, this approach has major practical advantages, including greater efficiency in sample recruitment. Association mapping may lead to false-positive findings, however, if population stratification is not properly considered. In this paper, we propose a method that makes it possible to infer the number of subpopulations by a mixture model, using a set of independent genetic markers and then testing the association between a genetic marker and a trait. The proposed method can be effectively applied in the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative traits. Extensive simulations demonstrate that the method is valid in the presence of a population structure.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.