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Analysis of Gene-Environment Interactions

Authored by: Norman E. Breslow , Noel Weiss

Handbook of Statistical Methods for Case-Control Studies

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781498768580
eBook ISBN: 9781315154084
Adobe ISBN:


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Understanding the interplay between genes (G) and environmental risk factors (E) is important to evaluate the etiology of complex disease; it is understood that genes do not operate in isolation but rather in complex networks and pathways influenced by environmental factors. In addition, the discovery of novel susceptibility loci for complex disease may be enhanced by identifying gene-environment interactions, where genetic effects are modified, and, sometimes, masked by the effects of environmental factors (Eichler et al., 2010; Thompson, 1991; Ottman, 1996). Ignoring these interactions can lead to incorrect estimates of the proportions of a disease that are explained by the environment, genes, and their joint effect in epidemiological studies. Eventually, identifying gene-environment interaction may also help develop strategies for targeted intervention in public health and help implement personalized medicine; applying an intervention focusing on a subset of the population that is identified by gene-environment interactions can provide efficiency in disease prevention (Hutter et al., 2013; Maas et al., 2016; Wacholder et al., 2002; Thomas, 2010); clayton2001epidemiological.

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