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This article is part of the supplement: Genetic Analysis Workshop 13: Analysis of Longitudinal Family Data for Complex Diseases and Related Risk Factors

Open Access Proceedings

Use of a random coefficient regression (RCR) model to estimate growth parameters

Jonathan Corbett*, Aldi Kraja, Ingrid B Borecki and Michael A Province

Author Affiliations

Division of Biostatistics, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

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BMC Genetics 2003, 4(Suppl 1):S5  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-4-S1-S5

Published: 31 December 2003


We used a random coefficient regression (RCR) model to estimate growth parameters for the time series of observed serum glucose levels in the Replicate 1 of the Genetic Analysis Workshop 13 simulated data. For comparison, a two time-point interval was also selected and the slope between these two observations was calculated. This process yielded four phenotypes: the RCR growth phenotype, a two time-point slope phenotype, and Time 1 and Time 2 serum glucose level phenotypes. These four phenotypes were used for linkage analyses on simulated chromosomes 5, 7, 9, and 21, those chromosomes that contained loci affecting the growth course for serum glucose levels. The linkage analysis of the RCR-derived phenotype showed overwhelming evidence for linkage at one locus (LOD 65.78 on chromosome 5), while showing elevated but nonsignificant LOD scores for two other loci (LOD 1.25 on chromosome 7, LOD 1.10 on chromosome 9), and no evidence of linkage for the final locus. The two time-point slope phenotype showed evidence for linkage at one locus (LOD 4.16 on chromosome 5) but no evidence for linkage at any of the other loci. A parallel cross-sectional approach, using as input phenotypes the endpoints of the two-point slope phenotype, gave strong linkage results for the major locus on chromosome 5 (maximal LOD scores of 17.90 and 27.24 for Time 1 and Time 2, respectively) while showing elevated but nonsignificant linkage results on chromosome 7 (maximal LOD scores of 1.71 and 1.48) and no evidence for linkage at the two remaining loci. The RCR growth parameter showed more power to detect linkage to the major locus than either the cross-sectional or two-point slope approach, but the cross-sectional approach gave a higher maximal LOD score for one of the minor loci.