Measurement Error Correction by Exploiting Gene–Environment Independence in Family-Based Case–Control Studies


Annamaria Guolo, Department of Economics, University of Verona, via dell'Artigliere, 8, I-37129 Verona, Italy.


Abstract.  Family-based case–control designs are commonly used in epidemiological studies for evaluating the role of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure to risk factors in the etiology of rare diseases. Within this framework, it is often reasonable to assume genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure being conditionally independent of each other within families in the source population. We focus on this setting to explore the situation of measurement error affecting the assessment of the environmental exposure. We correct for measurement error through a likelihood-based method. We exploit a conditional likelihood approach to relate the probability of disease to the genetic and the environmental risk factors. We show that this approach provides less biased and more efficient results than that based on logistic regression. Regression calibration, instead, provides severely biased estimators of the parameters. The comparison of the correction methods is performed through simulation, under common measurement error structures.