The International Journal of Biostatistics
Ed. by Chambaz, Antoine / Hubbard, Alan E. / van der Laan, Mark J.
2 Issues per year
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Measures of Family Resemblance for Binary Traits: Likelihood Based Inference
Detection and estimation of measures of familial aggregation is considered the first step to establish whether a certain disease has genetic component. Such measures are usually estimated from observational studies on siblings, parent-offspring, extended pedigrees or twins. When the trait of interest is quantitative (e.g. Blood pressures, body mass index, blood glucose levels, etc.) efficient likelihood estimation of such measures is feasible under the assumption of multivariate normality of the distributions of the traits. In this case the intra-class and inter-class correlations are used to assess the similarities among family members. When the trail is measured on the binary scale, we establish a full likelihood inference on such measures among siblings, parents, and parent-offspring. We illustrate the methodology on nuclear family data where the trait is the presence or absence of hypertension.