Recently, Liang et al. ( Hum. Hered. 51:64-78) proposed a general multipoint linkage method for estimating the chromosomal position of a putative susceptibility locus. Their technique is computationally simple and does not require specification of penetrance or a mode of inheritance. In complex genetic diseases, covariate data may be available which reflect etiologic or locus heterogeneity. We developed approaches to incorporating covariates into the method of Liang et al. ( Hum. Hered. 51:64-78) with particular attention to exploiting age-at-onset information. The results of simulation studies, and a worked data example using a family data set ascertained through probands with schizophrenia, suggest that utilizing covariate information can yield substantial efficiency gains in localizing susceptibility genes.
- Etiologic heterogeneity
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