Nutr Cancer. 2022 Aug 5:1-9. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2022.2104878. Online ahead of print.
Dietary factors show different effects on genetically diverse populations. Scientific research uses gene-environment interaction models to study the effects of dietary factors on genetically diverse populations for lung cancer risk. However, previous study designs have not investigated the degree of type I error inflation and, in some instances, have not corrected for multiple testing. Using a motivating investigation of diet-gene interaction and lung cancer risk, we propose a training and testing strategy and perform real-world simulations to select the appropriate statistical methods to reduce false-positive discoveries. The simulation results show that the unconstrained maximum likelihood (UML) method controls the type I error better than the constrained maximum likelihood (CML). The empirical Bayesian (EB) method can compete with the UML method in achieving statistical power and controlling type I error. We observed a significant interaction between SNP rs7175421 with dietary whole grain in lung cancer prevention, with an effect size (standard error) of -0.312 (0.112) for EB estimate. SNP rs7175421 may interact with dietary whole grains in modulating lung cancer risk. Evaluating statistical methods for gene-diet interaction analysis can help balance the statistical power and type I error.