Multi-locus test conditional on confirmed effects leads to increased power in genome-wide association studies

Li Ma, Shizhong Han, Jing Yang, Yang Da

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Complex diseases or phenotypes may involve multiple genetic variants and interactions between genetic, environmental and other factors. Current genome-wide association studies (GWAS) mostly used single-locus analysis and had identified genetic effects with multiple confirmations. Such confirmed single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) effects were likely to be true genetic effects and ignoring this information in testing new effects of the same phenotype results in decreased statistical power due to increased residual variance that has a component of the omitted effects. In this study, a multi-locus association test (MLT) was proposed for GWAS analysis conditional on SNPs with confirmed effects to improve statistical power. Analytical formulae for statistical power were derived and were verified by simulation for MLT accounting for confirmed SNPs and for single-locus test (SLT) without accounting for confirmed SNPs. Statistical power of the two methods was compared by case studies with simulated and the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) GWAS data. Results showed that the MLT method had increased statistical power over SLT. In the GWAS case study on four cholesterol phenotypes and serum metabolites, the MLT method improved statistical power by 5% to 38% depending on the number and effect sizes of the conditional SNPs. For the analysis of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) of the FHS data, the MLT method conditional on confirmed SNPs from GWAS catalog and NCBI had considerably more significant results than SLT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15006
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-locus test conditional on confirmed effects leads to increased power in genome-wide association studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this