Assessing disease comorbidity patterns in families represents the first step in gene mapping for diseases and is central to the practice of precision medicine. One way to evaluate the relative contributions of genetic risk factor and environmental determinants of a complex trait (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease [AD]) and its comorbidities (e.g., cardiovascular diseases [CVD]) is through familial studies, where an initial cohort of subjects are recruited, genotyped for specific loci, and interviewed to provide extensive disease history in family members. Because of the retrospective nature of obtaining disease phenotypes in family members, the exact time of disease onset may not be available such that current status data or interval-censored data are observed. All existing methods for analyzing these family study data assume single event subject to right-censoring so are not applicable. In this article, we propose a semiparametric regression model for the family history data that assumes a family-specific random effect and individual random effects to account for the dependence due to shared environmental exposures and unobserved genetic relatedness, respectively. To incorporate multiple events, we jointly model the onset of the primary disease of interest and a secondary disease outcome that is subject to interval-censoring. We propose nonparametric maximum likelihood estimation and develop a stable Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm for computation. We establish the asymptotic properties of the resulting estimators and examine the performance of the proposed methods through simulation studies. Our application to a real world study reveals that the main contribution of comorbidity between AD and CVD is due to genetic factors instead of environmental factors.

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