The role of major genes in the expression of serum uric acid (UA) levels was investigated in data collected from five clinics of the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC) family study. Over 2,000 randomly ascertained individuals were analyzed. The UA distributions were homogeneous among the five LRC clinics and between the parental and offspring generations. This result suggested that the data could be pooled across clinics, thereby increasing the statistical power associated with larger sample sizes for testing various null hypotheses. Additionally, a mixture of three normal distributions best characterized the combined-clinics data. Segregation patterns were examined in the untransformed data, as well as in a more conservative (and biologically meaningful) log transformation. Prior to log transformation, both major and multifactorial effects were detected. The major effect was not transmissible, i.e., was not compatible with Mendelian transmission, and accounted for 39% of the variance in UA levels. However, after the log transform was applied to the data and the segregation analysis was repeated, support for the major effect disappeared altogether and only the multifactorial component remained, accounting for 50% of the variation in offspring and 19% in patients.