Genetic association analysis using data from triads and unrelated subjects.

M P Epstein, C D Veal, R C Trembath, J N W N Barker, C Li, G A Satten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The selection of an appropriate control sample for use in association mapping requires serious deliberation. Unrelated controls are generally easy to collect, but the resulting analyses are susceptible to spurious association arising from population stratification. Parental controls are popular, since triads comprising a case and two parents can be used in analyses that are robust to this stratification. However, parental controls are often expensive and difficult to collect. In some situations, studies may have both parental and unrelated controls available for analysis. For example, a candidate-gene study may analyze triads but may have an additional sample of unrelated controls for examination of background linkage disequilibrium in genomic regions. Also, studies may collect a sample of triads to confirm results initially found using a traditional case-control study. Initial association studies also may collect each type of control, to provide insurance against the weaknesses of the other type. In these situations, resulting samples will consist of some triads, some unrelated controls, and, possibly, some unrelated cases. Rather than analyze the triads and unrelated subjects separately, we present a likelihood-based approach for combining their information in a single combined association analysis. Our approach allows for joint analysis of data from both triad and case-control study designs. Simulations indicate that our proposed approach is more powerful than association tests that are based on each separate sample. Our approach also allows for flexible modeling and estimation of allele effects, as well as for missing parental data. We illustrate the usefulness of our approach using SNP data from a candidate- gene study of psoriasis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592 - 608
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic association analysis using data from triads and unrelated subjects.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this