Modeling linkage disequilibrium increases accuracy of polygenic risk scores

B.J. Vilhjálmsson, J. Yang, H.K. Finucane, A. Gusev, S. Lindström, S. Ripke, G. Genovese, P.R. Loh, G. Bhatia, R. Do, T. Hayeck, H.H. Won, D. Posthuma, S. Kathiresan, M. Pato, C. Pato, R. Tamimi, E. Stahl, N. Zaitlen, B. PasaniucG. Belbin, E.E. Kenny, M.H. Schierup, P. De Jager, N.A. Patsopoulos, S. McCarroll, M. Daly, S. Purcell, D. Chasman, B. Neale, M. Goddard, P.M. Visscher, P. Kraft, N. Patterson, A.L. Price

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Polygenic risk scores have shown great promise in predicting complex disease risk and will become more accurate as training sample sizes increase. The standard approach for calculating risk scores involves linkage disequilibrium (LD)-based marker pruning and applying a p value threshold to association statistics, but this discards information and can reduce predictive accuracy. We introduce LDpred, a method that infers the posterior mean effect size of each marker by using a prior on effect sizes and LD information from an external reference panel. Theory and simulations show that LDpred outperforms the approach of pruning followed by thresholding, particularly at large sample sizes. Accordingly, predicted R
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-592
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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