An epidemiologic approach to gene-environment interaction

Genet Epidemiol. 1990;7(3):177-85. doi: 10.1002/gepi.1370070302.


This paper illustrates how epidemiologic principles can be used to investigate relationships between genetic susceptibility and other risk factors for disease. Five plausible models are described for relationships between genetic and environmental effects, and an example of a simple mendelian disorder that fits each model is given. Each model leads to a different set of predictions about disease risk in individuals with the genetic susceptibility alone, the risk factor alone, both, or neither. The risk predictions for the different models are described, and research designs for testing them are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epidemiology*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors


  • Genetic Markers