Multifactorial analysis of family data ascertained through truncation: A comparative evaluation of two methods of statistical inference

D. C. Rao, R. Wette, W. J. Ewens

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Abstract

When family data are ascertained through single selection based on truncation, a prevailing method of analysis is to condition the likelihood function on the proband's actual phenotypic value. An alternative method conditions the likelihood function on the event that the proband's measurement lies in the truncation region. Both methods are contrasted here by using Monte Carlo simulations; identical sets of data were analyzed using both methods. The results suggest that, under either method, (1) parameter estimates are nearly unbiased and (2) likelihood-ratio tests of null hypotheses are approximately distributed as χ2. However, conditioning on the proband's actual phenotypic value yields considerably less efficient estimates and reduced power for hypothesis tests. A corresponding result also holds under complete ascertainment. It is argued, therefore, that whenever sufficient information is available on the nature of truncation, the alternative approach should be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-515
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Volume42
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

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