We propose a new approach for the analysis of copy number variants (CNVs)for genome-wide association studies in family-based designs. Our new overall association test combines the between-family component and the within-family component of the family-based data so that the new test statistic is fully efficient and, at the same time, maintains robustness against population-admixture and stratification, like classical family-based association tests that are based only on the within-family component. Although all data are incorporated into the test statistic, an adjustment for genetic confounding is not needed, even for the between-family component. The new test statistic is valid for testing either quantitative or dichotomous phenotypes. If external CNV data are available, the approach can also be applied to completely ascertained samples. Similar to the approach by Ionita-Laza et al. (. Genet Epidemiol 32:273-284), the proposed test statistic does not require a CNV-calling algorithm and is based directly on the CNV probe intensities. We show, via simulation studies, that our methodology increases the power of the FBAT statistic to levels comparable to those of population-based designs. The advantages of the approach in practice are demonstrated by an application to a genome-wide association study for body mass index.
View details for DOI 10.1002/gepi.20515
View details for Web of Science ID 000282038200008
View details for PubMedID 20718041