We explored the utility of selecting a genetically predisposed subgroup to increase the finding of a genetic signal in the Genetic Analysis Workshop 14 Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism dataset. A subgroup of affected probands with low environmental risk exposures was defined using a susceptibility score calculated from an environmental risk model. Thirty-nine probands with highly positive scores were selected, along with their parents, for use in a genotypic transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) test We compared the results of the genotypic TDT in this subgroup to the TDT results using all probands and their parents. For some markers, the susceptibility scoring approach resulted in smaller p-values, while for other markers, evidence for a genetic signal weakened. Further explorations into genetic and environmental population characteristics that benefit from this approach are warranted.
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