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      Principal components analysis corrects for stratification in genome-wide association studies

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          Abstract

          Population stratification--allele frequency differences between cases and controls due to systematic ancestry differences-can cause spurious associations in disease studies. We describe a method that enables explicit detection and correction of population stratification on a genome-wide scale. Our method uses principal components analysis to explicitly model ancestry differences between cases and controls. The resulting correction is specific to a candidate marker's variation in frequency across ancestral populations, minimizing spurious associations while maximizing power to detect true associations. Our simple, efficient approach can easily be applied to disease studies with hundreds of thousands of markers.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Association mapping in structured populations.

          The use, in association studies, of the forthcoming dense genomewide collection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has been heralded as a potential breakthrough in the study of the genetic basis of common complex disorders. A serious problem with association mapping is that population structure can lead to spurious associations between a candidate marker and a phenotype. One common solution has been to abandon case-control studies in favor of family-based tests of association, such as the transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT), but this comes at a considerable cost in the need to collect DNA from close relatives of affected individuals. In this article we describe a novel, statistically valid, method for case-control association studies in structured populations. Our method uses a set of unlinked genetic markers to infer details of population structure, and to estimate the ancestry of sampled individuals, before using this information to test for associations within subpopulations. It provides power comparable with the TDT in many settings and may substantially outperform it if there are conflicting associations in different subpopulations.
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            Meta-analysis of genetic association studies supports a contribution of common variants to susceptibility to common disease.

            Association studies offer a potentially powerful approach to identify genetic variants that influence susceptibility to common disease, but are plagued by the impression that they are not consistently reproducible. In principle, the inconsistency may be due to false positive studies, false negative studies or true variability in association among different populations. The critical question is whether false positives overwhelmingly explain the inconsistency. We analyzed 301 published studies covering 25 different reported associations. There was a large excess of studies replicating the first positive reports, inconsistent with the hypothesis of no true positive associations (P < 10(-14)). This excess of replications could not be reasonably explained by publication bias and was concentrated among 11 of the 25 associations. For 8 of these 11 associations, pooled analysis of follow-up studies yielded statistically significant replication of the first report, with modest estimated genetic effects. Thus, a sizable fraction (but under half) of reported associations have strong evidence of replication; for these, false negative, underpowered studies probably contribute to inconsistent replication. We conclude that there are probably many common variants in the human genome with modest but real effects on common disease risk, and that studies using large samples will convincingly identify such variants.
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              Tests for Linear Trends in Proportions and Frequencies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Genetics
                Nat Genet
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1061-4036
                1546-1718
                August 2006
                July 23 2006
                August 2006
                : 38
                : 8
                : 904-909
                Article
                10.1038/ng1847
                16862161
                © 2006

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