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Bioinform Biol Insights. 2013 May 19;7:143-52. doi: 10.4137/BBI.S11601. Print 2013.

Association between a multi-locus genetic risk score and inflammatory bowel disease.

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The Centre for Applied Genomics, The Hospital for Sick Children, 101 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada.


To date, the utility of single genetic markers to improve disease risk assessment still explains only a small proportion of genetic variance for many complex diseases. This missing heritability may be explained by additional variants with weak effects. To discover and incorporate these additional genetic factors, statistical and computational methods must be evaluated and developed. We develop a multi-locus genetic risk score (GRS) based approach to analyze genes in NADPH oxidase complex which may result in susceptibility to development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We find the complex is highly associated with IBD (P = 7.86 × 10(-14)) using the GRS-based association method. Similar results are also shown in permutation analysis (P = 6.65 × 10(-11)). Likelihood ratio test shows that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the complex without nominal signals have significant contribution to the overall genetic effect within the complex (P = 0.015). Our results show that the multi-locus GRS association model can improve the genetic risk assessment on IBD by taking into account both confirmed and as yet unconfirmed disease susceptibility variants.


association analysis; genetic risk score; inflammatory bowel disease; permutation analysis

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