Genetic correlations of polygenic disease traits: from theory to practice.

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From: Nature Reviews Genetics(Vol. 20, Issue 10)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Document Type: Report
Length: 13,255 words
Lexile Measure: 1610L

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Abstract :

The genetic correlation describes the genetic relationship between two traits and can contribute to a better understanding of the shared biological pathways and/or the causality relationships between them. The rarity of large family cohorts with recorded instances of two traits, particularly disease traits, has made it difficult to estimate genetic correlations using traditional epidemiological approaches. However, advances in genomic methodologies, such as genome-wide association studies, and widespread sharing of data now allow genetic correlations to be estimated for virtually any trait pair. Here, we review the definition, estimation, interpretation and uses of genetic correlations, with a focus on applications to human disease. In this Review, van Rheenen et al. outline how improved methodologies have enabled genetic correlations to be estimated for almost any trait pair. Genetic correlations can improve our understanding of the shared biology and causal relationships between traits.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A599811420