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Statistical Bias and Inflated Variance in the Genehunter Nonparametric Linkage Test Statistic

  • Published : 2009.03.30

Abstract

Evidence of linkage is expressed as a decreasing trend of the squared trait difference of two siblings with increasing identical by descent scores. In contrast to successes in the application of a parametric approach of Haseman-Elston regression, notably low powers are demonstrated in the nonparametric linkage analysis methods for complex traits and diseases with sib-pairs data. We report that the Genehunter nonparametric linkage statistic is biased and furthermore the variance formula that they used is an inflated one, and this is one reason for a low performance. Thus, we propose bias-corrected nonparametric linkage statistics. Simulation studies comparing our proposed nonparametric test statistics versus the existing test statistics suggest that the bias-corrected new nonparametric test statistics are more powerful and attains efficiencies close to that of Haseman-Elston regression.

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