Apr 21, 2016

Mortality Selection in a Genetic Sample and Implications for Association Studies

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Benjamin W DomingueJason D Boardman


Mortality selection is a general concern in the social and health sciences. Recently, existing health and social science cohorts have begun to collect genomic data. Causes of selection into a genomic dataset can influence results from genomic analyses. Selective non-participation, which is specific to a particular study and its participants, has received attention in the literature. But mortality selection\---|the very general phenomenon that genomic data collected at a particular age represents selective participation by only the subset of birth cohort members who have survived to the time of data collection\---|has been largely ignored. Here we test the hypothesis that such mortality selection may significantly alter estimates in polygenic association studies of both health and non-health traits. We demonstrate mortality selection into genome-wide SNP data collection at older ages using the U.S.-based Health and Retirement Study (HRS). We then model the selection process. Finally, we test whether mortality selection alters estimates from genetic association studies. We find evidence for mortality selection. Healthier and more socioeconomically advantaged individuals are more likely to survive to be eligible to participate in ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Longitudinal Studies
Genomic Stability
Genetic Association Studies
Genetic Sample
Comparative Genomic Analysis

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