Comparison of two statistical methods for rare variant association analysis

Jiangong Niu, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Studies have shown that rare genetic variants have stronger effects in predisposing common diseases, and several statistical methods have been developed for association studies involving rare variants. In order to better understand how these statistical methods perform, we seek to compare two recently developed rare variant statistical methods (VT and C-alpha) on 10,000 simulated re-sequencing data sets with disease status and the corresponding 10,000 simulated null data sets. The SLC1A1 gene has been suggested to be associated with diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in previous studies. In the current study, we applied VT and C-alpha methods to the empirical re-sequencing data for the SLC1A1 gene from 300 whites and 200 blacks. We found that VT method obtains higher power and performs better than C-alpha method with the simulated data we used. The type I errors were well-controlled for both methods. In addition, both VT and C-alpha methods suggested no statistical evidence for the association between the SLC1A1 gene and DBP. Overall, our findings provided an important comparison of the two statistical methods for future reference and provided preliminary and pioneer findings on the association between the SLC1A1 gene and blood pressure.

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Recommended Citation

Niu, Jiangong, "Comparison of two statistical methods for rare variant association analysis" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1506941.