Rxivist logo

Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 63,093 bioRxiv papers from 279,869 authors.

Mendelian randomization (MR) is a widely-used method for causal inference using genetic data. Mendelian randomization studies of unrelated individuals may be susceptible to bias from family structure, for example, through dynastic effects which occur when parental genotypes directly affect offspring phenotypes. Here we describe methods for within-family Mendelian randomization and through simulations show that family-based methods can overcome bias due to dynastic effects. We illustrate these issues empirically using data from 61,008 siblings from the UK Biobank and Nord-Trondelag Health Study. Both within-family and population-based Mendelian randomization analyses reproduced established effects of lower BMI reducing risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. However, while MR estimates from population-based samples of unrelated individuals suggested that taller height and lower BMI increase educational attainment, these effects largely disappeared in within-family MR analyses. We found differences between population-based and within-family based estimates, indicating the importance of controlling for family effects and population structure in Mendelian randomization studies.

Download data

  • Downloaded 924 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 8,080 out of 63,112
    • In genetics: 621 out of 3,582
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 1,707 out of 63,112
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 1,877 out of 63,112

Altmetric data


Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


News