Further investigation of linkage diequilibrium between SNPs and their ability to identify associated susceptibility loci

B. V. North, D. Curtis, E. R. Martin, E. H. Lai, A. D. Roses, P. C. Sham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There is currently considerable interest in the use of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to map disease susceptibility genes. The success of this method will depend on a number of factors including the strength of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between marker and disease loci. We used a data set of SNP genotypings in the region of the APOE disease susceptibility locus to investigate the likely usefulness of SNPs in case-control studies. Using the estimated haplotype structure surrounding and including the APOE locus, and assuming a codominant disease model, we treated each SNP in turn as if it were a disease susceptibility locus and obtained, for each disease locus and markers, the expected likelihood ratio test (LRT) to assess disease association. We were particularly interested in the power to detect association with the susceptibility polymorphism itself, the power of nearby markers to detect association, and the ability to distinguish between the susceptibility polymorphism and marker loci also showing association. We found that the expected LRT depended critically on disease allele frequencies. For disease loci with a reasonably common allele we were usually able to detect association. However, for only a subset of markers in the close neighbourhood of the disease locus was association detectable. In these cases we were usually, but not always, able to distinguish the disease locus from nearby associated marker loci. For some disease loci, no other loci demonstrated detectable association with the disease phenotype. We conclude that one may need to use very dense SNP maps in order to avoid overlooking polymorphisms affecting susceptibility to a common phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-248
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Human Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • APOE
  • Disease locus mapping
  • Linkage disequilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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