A comparison of strategies for analyzing dichotomous outcomes in genome-wide association studies with general pedigrees

Ming Huei Chen, Xuan Liu, Fengrong Wei, Martin G. Larson, Caroline S. Fox, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Qiong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been frequently conducted on general or isolated populations with related individuals. However, there is a lack of consensus on which strategy is most appropriate for analyzing dichotomous phenotypes in general pedigrees. Using simulation studies, we compared several strategies including generalized estimating equations (GEE) strategies with various working correlation structures, generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), and a variance component strategy (denoted LMEBIN) that treats dichotomous outcomes as continuous with special attentions to their performance with rare variants, rare diseases, and small sample sizes. In our simulations, when the sample size is not small, for type I error, only GEE and LMEBIN maintain nominal type I error in most cases with exceptions for GEE with very rare disease and genetic variants. GEE and LMEBIN have similar statistical power and slightly outperform GLMM when the prevalence is low. In terms of computational efficiency, GEE with sandwich variance estimator outperforms GLMM and LMEBIN. We apply the strategies to GWAS of gout in the Framingham Heart Study. Based on our results, we would recommend using GEE ind-san in the GWAS for common variants and GEE ind-fij or LMEBIN for rare variants for GWAS of dichotomous outcomes with general pedigrees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-657
Number of pages8
JournalGenetic epidemiology
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dichotomous phenotypes
  • Familial relatedness
  • Genetic association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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