Classical twin studies and beyond

Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Nov;3(11):872-82. doi: 10.1038/nrg932.


Twin studies have been a valuable source of information about the genetic basis of complex traits. To maximize the potential of twin studies, large, worldwide registers of data on twins and their relatives have been established. Here, we provide an overview of the current resources for twin research. These can be used to obtain insights into the genetic epidemiology of complex traits and diseases, to study the interaction of genotype with sex, age and lifestyle factors, and to study the causes of co-morbidity between traits and diseases. Because of their design, these registers offer unique opportunities for selected sampling for quantitative trait loci linkage and association studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Twin Studies as Topic* / methods