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An Evolutionary Framework for Common Disease

  1. Francesca Luca,
  2. Anna Di Rienzo

Published Online: 21 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020758



How to Cite

Luca, F. and Di Rienzo, A. 2007. An Evolutionary Framework for Common Disease. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 DEC 2007


Susceptibility alleles for common diseases are a subset of all natural genetic variation; as such they are jointly shaped by random drift and natural selection. Computer simulation and empirical studies show that models of purifying selection and adaptive evolution apply to risk alleles for common diseases. These models have important implications for the design of disease-mapping studies.


  • disease association studies;
  • allele frequency spectrum;
  • genetic variation;
  • natural selection