A number of familial diseases have an age-of-onset component, which can be considered as a censored quantitative trait. However, few software resources are available for the use of time-to-event endpoints in linkage analysis. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the use of martingale residuals from Cox survival models as quantitative traits for familial diseases with variable age at onset. We used these residuals as quantitative traits in variance components linkage scans for the 50 replicates of the general population simulated data for chromosomes 6 and 7. The region on chromosome 6 containing markers D06G034 and D06G035 demonstrated evidence for linkage, consistent with the underlying genetic model. This analysis demonstrates the applicability of using martingale residuals as a quantitative trait in linkage analyses of diseases that depend on age of onset.
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