Analysis of age of onset data from case-control family studies

Hongzhe Li, Ping Yang, Ann G. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Age of onset data from case-control family studies are frequently used to study the relationship between disease and environmental or genetic factors. Dependence of age of onset within family and case-control sampling designs must be taken into account in analyzing such data. In this paper, we propose a parametric likelihood approach to study the relationship between disease risk and covariates, allowing for any correlations in age of onset of disease between family members and to study the familial association in age of onset of disease due to genetic factors, after adjusting for other shared covariates within the family. The method provides a way to combine the information relating disease incidence to risk factors in relatives with the information contained in the case/control contrasts in order to obtain more precise estimates of the effects of the putative risk factors. A data set from a case-control family study of lung cancer is used to illustrate the method. The analysis indicated that history of smoking, passive smoking, and history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are positively associated with lung cancer risk, and that, after adjustment for these risk factors, there is little evidence of familial aggregation in lung cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1039
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Age of onset
  • Aggregation analysis
  • Case-control family study
  • Copula models
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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