Total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) concentration was measured on 316 members of five pedigrees selected through breast cancer probands. Sex- and age-adjusted natural logarithm-transformed IgE level was not found to differ between individuals with breast cancer or with cancer of any site and other relatives. Likelihoods of the polygenic and of one-locus, two-allele major gene and mixed models were computed. The analysis provided evidence for the presence of a polygenic component in the determination of IgE; it did not show evidence of a major gene effect.
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