Genetic epidemiology is a young but rapidly developing discipline. Although its early years were largely dedicated to family-based research in monogenic disorders, now genetic-epidemiologic research increasingly focuses on complex, multifactorial disorders. Along with the development of the human-genome map and advances in molecular technology grows the importance of genetic-epidemiologic applications. Large-scale population-based studies, requiring close integration of genetic and epidemiologic research, determine future research in the field. In this paper, we review the basic principles underlying genetic-epidemiologic research, such as molecular genetics and familial aggregation of disease, as well as the typical study approaches of genome screening and candidate-gene studies.

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European Journal of Epidemiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Dekker, M.C.J, & van Duijn, C.M. (2003). Prospects of genetic epidemiology in the 21st century. European Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 18, pp. 607–616). doi:10.1023/A:1024933620315