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Hum Hered. 2010;70(4):292-300. doi: 10.1159/000323318. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

Genome-wide meta-analysis of joint tests for genetic and gene-environment interaction effects.

Author information

  • 1Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA. haschard @ hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is growing interest in the study of gene-environment interactions in the context of genome-wide association studies (GWASs). These studies will likely require meta-analytic approaches to have sufficient power.

METHODS:

We describe an approach for meta-analysis of a joint test for genetic main effects and gene-environment interaction effects. Using simulation studies based on a meta-analysis of five studies (total n = 10,161), we compare the power of this test to the meta-analysis of marginal test of genetic association and the meta-analysis of standard 1 d.f. interaction tests across a broad range of genetic main effects and gene-environment interaction effects.

RESULTS:

We show that the joint meta-analysis is valid and can be more powerful than classical meta-analytic approaches, with a potential gain of power over 50% compared to the marginal test. The standard interaction test had less than 1% power in almost all the situations we considered. We also show that regardless of the test used, sample sizes far exceeding those of a typical individual GWAS will be needed to reliably detect genes with subtle gene-environment interaction patterns.

CONCLUSION:

The joint meta-analysis is an attractive approach to discover markers which may have been missed by initial GWASs focusing on marginal marker-trait associations.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
21293137
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3085519
Free PMC Article

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