Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The choice of which population to study in the mapping of common disease genes may be critical. Isolated founder populations, such as that found in Finland, have already proved extremely useful for mapping the genes for specific rare monogenic disorders and are being used in attempts to map the genes underlying common, complex diseases. But simulation results suggest that, under the common disease-common variant hypothesis, most isolated populations will prove no more useful for linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping of common disease genes than large outbred populations. There is very little empirical data to either support or refute this conclusion at present. Therefore, we evaluated LD between 21 common microsatellite polymorphisms on chromosome 18q21 in 2 genetic isolates (Finland and Sardinia) and compared the results with those observed in two mixed populations (United Kingdom and United States of America). Mean levels of LD were similar across all four populations. Our results provide empirical support for the expectation that genetic isolates like Finland and Sardinia will not prove significantly more valuable than general populations for LD mapping of common variants underlying complex disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Genet

Publication Date





320 - 323


Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Finland, Genotype, Humans, Italy, Linkage Disequilibrium, Microsatellite Repeats, Polymorphism, Genetic