, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 389-393

A method for indirectly estimating gene-environment effect modification and power given only genotype frequency and odds ratio of environmental exposure

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Both genes and environment are important determinants of disease. In this paper we model gene-environment effect modification on the odds ratio scale OR(GE|D) and show how to indirectly estimate the effect and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the simple case of no main genetic and environmental effects [i.e., \( \hbox{ OR}(\hbox{G}\bar{\rm E}|\hbox{D}) = \hbox{OR}(\bar{\rm G}\hbox{E}|\hbox{D}) = 1 \) ]. A statistic is presented to test the null hypothesis \( \hbox{OR}(\hbox{GE}|\hbox{D})=1 \) and to calculate corresponding power, given the odds ratio for environmental exposure \( \hbox{ OR}(\hbox{E}|\hbox{D}) \) and population genotype frequency (g). Direct extension of the above model provides a mathematical framework for estimating confidence bounds in more complex cases involving partial genetic and/or environmental effects.