Impact of violations and deviations in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium on postulated gene-disease associations
ABSTRACT The authors evaluated whether statistically significant violations of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) or the magnitude of deviations from HWE may contribute to the problem of replicating postulated gene-disease associations across different studies. Forty-two gene-disease associations assessed in meta-analyses of 591 studies were examined. Studies with disease-free controls in which HWE was violated gave significantly different results from HWE-conforming studies in five instances. Exclusion of the former studies resulted in loss of statistical significance of the overall meta-analysis in three instances and more than a 10% change in the summary odds ratio in six. Exclusion of HWE-violating studies changed the formal significance of the estimated between-study heterogeneity in three instances. After adjustment for the magnitude of the deviation from HWE for the controls, formal significance was lost in another three instances. Studies adjusted for the magnitude of deviation from HWE tended to become more heterogeneous among themselves, and, for seven gene-disease associations, between-study heterogeneity became significant, while it was not so in the unadjusted analyses. Gene-disease association studies and meta-analyses thereof should routinely scrutinize the potential impact of HWE violations as well as nonsignificant deviations from the exact frequencies expected under HWE. Postulated genetic associations with modest-sized odds ratios and borderline statistical significance may not be robust in such sensitivity analyses.
SourceAvailable from: sciencedirect.comEgyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics 09/2014; 16(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ejmhg.2014.08.002
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ABSTRACT: X-ray repair cross-complementing group 1 (XRCC1) plays a key role in DNA repair, genetic instability, and tumorigenesis. The XRCC1 R399Q polymorphism has been reported in some studies to influence the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), though this remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the association of XRCC1 R399Q polymorphisms with CRC risk in the Chinese Han population. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure to identify eligible studies published before June 2014. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95 % confidence interval (CI) were used to estimate the effect of XRCC1 R399Q polymorphisms on CRC risk. Eleven case-control studies with a total of 3194 CRC cases and 4472 controls were identified. No significant association between the XRCC1 R399Q polymorphism and CRC risk was observed in the Chinese Han population (Gln/Gln vs. Arg/Arg, OR = 1.26, 95 % CI = 0.85-1.87, P OR = 0.242; Arg/Gln vs. Arg/Arg, OR = 0.95, 95 % CI = 0.70-1.18, P OR = 0.651; dominant model, OR = 1.09, 95 % CI = 0.86-1.38, P OR = 0.480; and recessive model, OR = 1.24, 95 % CI = 0.91-1.70, P OR = 0.177). After excluding two studies that deviated from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, there remained no significant association between XRCC1 R399Q and CRC risk. No publication bias was found using the funnel plot and Egger's test. Our meta-analysis results suggest that the XRCC1 R399Q polymorphism is not associated with increased risk of CRC in the Chinese Han population.Tumor Biology 01/2015; 36(2). DOI:10.1007/s13277-015-3054-6 · 2.84 Impact Factor