Complex disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, hypertension and psychiatric illnesses account for a large and disproportionate share of health care costs, but remain poorly characterized with respect to aetiology. The transmission of such disorders is complex, reflecting the actions and interactions of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Genetic analyses that allow for the simultaneous consideration of susceptibility from multiple regions may improve the ability to map genes for complex disorders1,2, but such analyses are currently computationally intensive and narrowly focused. We describe here an approach to assessing the evidence for statistical interactions between unlinked regions that allows multipoint allele–sharing analysis to take the evidence for linkage at one region into account in assessing the evidence for linkage over the rest of the genome. Using this method, we show that the interaction of genes on chromosomes 2 (NIDDM1) and 15 (near CYP19) makes a contribution to susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in Mexican Americans from Starr County, Texas.
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This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants GM–46800, DK–20595, DK–47481, DK–47486, DK–47487 and DK–47494.
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