Genes, age, and alcoholism: Analysis of GAW14 data

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A genetic analysis of age of onset of alcoholism was performed on the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism data released for Genetic Analysis Workshop 14. Our study illustrates an application of the log-normal age of onset model in our software Genetic Epidemiology Models (GEMs). The phenotype ALDXI of alcoholism was studied. The analysis strategy was to first find the markers of the Affymetrix SNP dataset with significant association with age of onset, and then to perform linkage analysis on them. ALDXI revealed strong evidence of linkage for marker tsc0041591 on chromosome 2 and suggestive linkage for marker tscO894042 on chromosome 3. The largest separation in mean ages of onset of ALDXI was 19.76 and 24.41 between male smokers who are carriers of the risk allele of tsc0041591 and the non-carriers, respectively. Hence, male smokers who are carriers of marker tsc0041591 on chromosome 2 have an average onset of ALDXI almost 5 years earlier than non-carriers.

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