Fast and Accurate Genome-Wide Association Test of Multiple Quantitative Traits

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Abstract

Multiple correlated traits are often collected in genetic studies. By jointly analyzing multiple traits, we can increase power by aggregating multiple weak effects and reveal additional insights into the genetic architecture of complex human diseases. In this article, we propose a multivariate linear regression-based method to test the joint association of multiple quantitative traits. It is flexible to accommodate any covariates, has very accurate control of type I errors, and offers very competitive performance. We also discuss fast and accurate significance p value computation especially for genome-wide association studies with small-to-medium sample sizes. We demonstrate through extensive numerical studies that the proposed method has competitive performance. Its usefulness is further illustrated with application to genome-wide association analysis of diabetes-related traits in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. We found some very interesting associations with diabetes traits which have not been reported before. We implemented the proposed methods in a publicly available R package.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalComputational and mathematical methods in medicine
Volume2018
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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