Inbreeding among Caribbean Hispanics from the Dominican Republic and its effects on risk of Alzheimer disease

Badri N. Vardarajan, Daniel J. Schaid, Christiane Reitz, Rafael Lantigua, Martin Medrano, Ivonne Z. Jiménez-Velázquez, Joseph H. Lee, Mahdi Ghani, Ekaterina Rogaeva, Peter St George-Hyslop, Richard P. Mayeux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background:Inbreeding can be associated with a modification of disease risk due to excess homozygosity of recessive alleles affecting a wide range of phenotypes. We estimated the inbreeding coefficient in Caribbean Hispanics and examined its effects on risk of late-onset Alzheimer disease.Methods:The inbreeding coefficient was calculated in 3,392 subjects (1,451 late-onset Alzheimer disease patients and 1,941 age-matched healthy controls) of Caribbean Hispanic ancestry using 177,997 nearly independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms from genome-wide array. The inbreeding coefficient was estimated using the excess homozygosity method with and without adjusting for admixture.Results:The average inbreeding coefficient in Caribbean Hispanics without accounting for admixture was F = 0.018 (±0.048), suggesting a mating equivalent to that of second cousins or second cousins once removed. Adjusting for admixture from three parent populations, the average inbreeding coefficient was found to be 0.0034 (±0.019) or close to third-cousin mating. Inbreeding coefficient was a significant predictor of Alzheimer disease when age, sex, and APOE genotype were used as adjusting covariates (P = 0.03).Conclusion:The average inbreeding coefficient of this population is significantly higher than that of the general Caucasian populations in North America. The high rate of inbreeding resulting in increased frequency of recessive variants is advantageous for the identification of rare variants associated with late-onset Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-643
Number of pages5
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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