Genetic epidemiology is an emerging field that developed initially from population genetics, specifically human quantitative genetics, with conceptual and methodological contributions from epidemiology. One of the early proponents of genetic epidemiology, Morton, defines the field as one that addresses the etiology, distribution, and control of disease in groups of related individuals and the inherited causes of diseases in populations. This definition has by necessity been broadened to include the role of the environment by others who emphasize the role of genetic factors as they interact with environmental factors in the occurrence of diseases in human populations. Khoury, Little, and Burke (2003) have recently coined the term human genome epidemiology to encompass a system of investigations that use the methods of epidemiology in population-based studies of ...

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