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Genet Epidemiol. 2006 Jan;30(1):62-76.

Validity, efficiency, and robustness of a family-based test of association.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We propose a new test of linkage in the presence of allelic association that uses all available information in a sample of nuclear families, including parental phenotypes, genotypes from both affected and unaffected siblings, and families with homozygous parents. The test is based on the conditional framework developed by Rabinowitz and Laird [2000: Hum Hered 50:211-223] and is thus immune to population stratification and can be applied to families with any pattern of missing information. The test statistic is a conditional likelihood ratio based on a standard two-point linkage model with allelic association, where parameters are estimated from the sample. Through a simulation study, we determined that the proposed test has near optimal power for a wide range of scenarios, outperforming FBAT both when data were complete and when parental genotypes were missing, although differences between the two tests diminish as the genetic effect is reduced. To assess robustness, we also evaluated the performance of the tests under scenarios with population stratification and found that although there is a loss of efficiency, our proposed test remains a strong competitor to FBAT.

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