Phenotypic variation between parent-offspring trios and non-trios in genetic studies of schizophrenia

Stanley Zammit*, Glyn Lewis, Anita Thapar, Richard Owen, Gaynor Jones, Susan Jones, Rob Sanders, Charis Milham, Ameera Mahdi, Michael C. O'Donovan, Michael J. Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Phenotypic differences between parent-offspring trios and non-trios have been reported for various psychiatric disorders, and it has been suggested that this may make comparisons of case-control and family-based results for gene-disease association studies inappropriate. AIMS: To compare phenotypes between trios and non-trios with schizophrenia, and explore possible reasons for differences observed. METHOD: Phenotypes were compared between trios (n=75) and non-trios (n=424) collected as part of a case-control study. RESULTS: Differences were observed for most phenotypes investigated, although all were eliminated after adjusting for confounding. CONCLUSIONS: Confounding, genetic heterogeneity or selection bias could result in differences in case-control and family-based results. However as we discuss, where adequately designed case-control studies are used, gene-disease association results would be incomparable between family-based and case-control studies only if genetic heterogeneity was present. These results do not support the presence of such genetic heterogeneity in schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-626
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Bias
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Schizophrenia
  • Trios


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