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Hum Hered. 2003;56(1-3):10-7.

A new powerful non-parametric two-stage approach for testing multiple phenotypes in family-based association studies.

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Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass. 02115, USA.


We introduce a new powerful nonparametric testing strategy for family-based association studies in which multiple quantitative traits are recorded and the phenotype with the strongest genetic component is not known prior to the analysis. In the first stage, using a population-based test based on the generalized estimating equation approach, we test all recorded phenotypes for association with the marker locus without biasing the nominal significance level of the later family-based analysis. In the second stage the phenotype with the smallest p value is selected and tested by a family-based association test for association with the marker locus. This strategy is robust against population admixture and stratification and does not require any adjustment for multiple testing. We demonstrate the advantages of this testing strategy over standard methodology in a simulation study. The practical importance of our testing strategy is illustrated by applications to the Childhood Asthma Management Program asthma data sets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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