[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m
in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m
in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 09/2015; DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.57 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Few studies examining the genetic architecture of cigarette smoking have focused on adolescents or examined developmental changes in additive genetic, shared environment and unique environmental influences on liability to initiate cigarette smoking and quantity of cigarettes smoked. The aim of this study is to add to the literature on liability to initiate and use cigarettes during adolescence using a nationally representative sample. Method: Data for this study came from adolescent and young adult twin pairs (ages 14-33) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. We ran a series of developmental causal-contingent-common pathway models to examine whether additive genetic, shared and unique environmental influences on liability to the initiation of cigarette use are shared with those on smoking quantity, and whether their contributions change across development.
Results: We found evidence for a developmental shift in genetic and shared environmental contributions to cigarette use. Early in adolescence genetic and environmental influences work independently on liability to cigarette smoking initiation and quantity of cigarettes smoked, but liability to these behaviors becomes correlated as individuals age into young adulthood. Conclusions: These findings provide insight into the causal processes underlying the liability to smoke cigarettes. With age, there is greater overlap in the genetic and environmental factors that influence the initiation of cigarette smoking and quantity of cigarettes smoked.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 06/2015; DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.48 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The public health burden of alcohol is unevenly distributed across the life course, with levels of use, abuse, and dependence increasing across adolescence and peaking in early adulthood. Here, we leverage this temporal patterning to search for common genetic variants predicting developmental trajectories of alcohol consumption. Comparable psychiatric evaluations measuring alcohol consumption were collected in three longitudinal community samples (
= 2,126, obs = 12,166). Consumption-repeated measurements spanning adolescence and early adulthood were analyzed using linear mixed models, estimating individual consumption trajectories, which were then tested for association with Illumina 660W-Quad genotype data (866,099 SNPs after imputation and QC). Association results were combined across samples using standard meta-analysis methods. Four meta-analysis associations satisfied our pre-determined genome-wide significance criterion (FDR < 0.1) and six others met our ‘suggestive’ criterion (FDR <0.2). Genome-wide significant associations were highly biological plausible, including associations within GABA transporter 1, SLC6A1 (solute carrier family 6, member 1), and exonic hits in LOC100129340 (mitofusin-1-like). Pathway analyses elaborated single marker results, indicating significant enriched associations to intuitive biological mechanisms, including neurotransmission, xenobiotic pharmacodynamics, and nuclear hormone receptors (NHR). These findings underscore the value of combining longitudinal behavioral data and genome-wide genotype information in order to study developmental patterns and improve statistical power in genomic studies.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 06/2015; 18(4):1-13. DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.36 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m
) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 05/2015; 10(10):1017. DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.29 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to clarify the etiological contribution of genetic and environmental factors to total criminal behavior (CB) measured as criminal convictions in men and women, and to violent (VCB), white-collar (WCCB) and property criminal behavior (PCB) in men only.
In 21 603 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry, we obtained information on all criminal convictions from 1973 to 2011 from the Swedish Crime Register. Twin modeling was performed using the OpenMx package.
For all criminal convictions, heritability was estimated at around 45% in both sexes, with the shared environment accounting for 18% of the variance in liability in females and 27% in males. The correlation of these risk factors across sexes was estimated at +0.63. In men, the magnitudes of genetic and environmental influence were similar in the three criminal conviction subtypes. However, for violent and white-collar convictions, nearly half and one-third of the genetic effects were respectively unique to that criminal subtype. About half of the familial environmental effects were unique to property convictions.
The familial aggregation of officially recorded CB is substantial and results from both genetic and familial environmental factors. These factors are moderately correlated across the sexes suggesting that some genetic and environmental influences on criminal convictions are unique to men and to women. Violent criminal behavior and property crime are substantially influenced respectively by genetic and shared environmental risk factors unique to that criminal subtype.
Psychological Medicine 05/2015; 45(11):1-10. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714002098 · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior twin and adoption studies have demonstrated the importance of both genetic and shared environmental factors in the etiology of criminal behavior (CB). However, despite substantial interest in life-course theories of CB, few genetically informative studies have examined CB in a developmental context.
In 69,767 male-male twin pairs and full-sibling pairs with ≤ 2 years' difference in age, born 1958-1976 and ascertained from the Swedish Twin and Population Registries, we obtained information on all criminal convictions from 1973 to 2011 from the Swedish Crime Register. We fitted a Cholesky structural model, using the OpenMx package, to CB in these pairs over three age periods: 15-19, 20-24, and 25-29.
The Cholesky model had two main genetic factors. The first began at ages 15-19 and declined in importance over development. The second started at ages 20-24 and was stable over time. Only one major shared environmental factor was seen, beginning at ages 15-19. Heritability for CB declined from ages 15-29, as did shared environmental effects, although at a slower rate.
Genetic risk factors for CB in males are developmentally dynamic, demonstrating both innovation and attenuation. These results are consistent with theories of adolescent-limited and life-course persistent CB subtypes. Heritability for CB did not increase over time as might be predicted from active gene-environmental correlation. However, consistent with expectation, the proportion of variability explained by shared environmental effects declined slightly as individuals aged and moved away from their original homes and neighborhoods.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 04/2015; 18(03):1-7. DOI:10.1017/thg.2015.25 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We tested two models to identify the genetic and environmental processes underlying longitudinal changes in depression among adolescents. The first assumes that observed changes in covariance structure result from the unfolding of inherent, random individual differences in the overall levels and rates of change in depression over time (random growth curves). The second assumes that observed changes are due to time-specific random effects (innovations) accumulating over time (autoregressive effects). We found little evidence of age-specific genetic effects or persistent genetic innovations. Instead, genetic effects are consistent with a gradual unfolding in the liability to depression and rates of change with increasing age. Likewise, the environment also creates significant individual differences in overall levels of depression and rates of change. However, there are also time-specific environmental experiences that persist with fidelity. The implications of these differing genetic and environmental mechanisms in the etiology of depression are considered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic cigarette use has been consistently associated with differences in the neuroanatomy of smokers relative to nonsmokers in case-control studies. However, the etiology underlying the relationships between brain structure and cigarette use is unclear. A community-based sample of male twin pairs ages 51-59 (110 monozygotic pairs, 92 dizygotic pairs) was used to determine the extent to which there are common genetic and environmental influences between brain structure and average lifetime cigarette use. Brain structure was measured by high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging, from which subcortical volume and cortical volume, thickness and surface area were derived. Bivariate genetic models were fitted between these measures and average lifetime cigarette use measured as cigarette pack-years. Widespread, negative phenotypic correlations were detected between cigarette pack-years and several cortical as well as subcortical structures. Shared genetic and unique environmental factors contributed to the phenotypic correlations shared between cigarette pack-years and subcortical volume as well as cortical volume and surface area. Brain structures involved in many of the correlations were previously reported to play a role in specific aspects of networks of smoking-related behaviors. These results provide evidence for conducting future research on the etiology of smoking-related behaviors using measures of brain morphology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known regarding the underlying relationship between smoking initiation and current quantity smoked during adolescence into young adulthood. It is possible that the influences of genetic and environmental factors on this relationship vary across sex and age. To investigate this further, the current study applied a common causal contingency model to data from a Virginia-based twin study to determine: (1) if the same genetic and environmental factors are contributing to smoking initiation and current quantity smoked; (2) whether the magnitude of genetic and environmental factor contributions are the same across adolescence and young adulthood; and (3) if qualitative and quantitative differences in the sources of variance between males and females exist. Study results found no qualitative or quantitative sex differences in the relationship between smoking initiation and current quantity smoked, though relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors changed across adolescence and young adulthood. More specifically, smoking initiation and current quantity smoked remain separate constructs until young adulthood, when liabilities are correlated. Smoking initiation is explained by genetic, shared, and unique environmental factors in early adolescence and by genetic and unique environmental factors in young adulthood; while current quantity smoked is explained by shared environmental and unique environmental factors until young adulthood, when genetic and unique environmental factors play a larger role.
Twin Research and Human Genetics 02/2015; 18(1):43-51. DOI:10.1017/thg.2014.78 · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Prior studies, utilizing interview-based assessments, suggest that most of the genetic risk factors for drug abuse (DA) are non-specific with a minority acting specifically on risk for abuse of particular psychoactive substance classes. We seek to replicate these findings using objective national registry data.
We examined abuse of cannabis, stimulants (including cocaine) and sedatives ascertained from national Swedish registers in male-male monozygotic (1720 pairs) and dizygotic twins (1219 pairs) combined with near-age full siblings (76,457 pairs) to provide sufficient power. Modeling was performed using Mx.
A common pathway model fitted better than an independent pathway model. The latent liability to DA was highly heritable but also influenced by shared environment. Cannabis, stimulant and sedative abuse all loaded strongly on the common factor. Estimates for the total heritability for the three forms of substance abuse ranged from 64 to 70%. Between 75 and 90% of that genetic risk was non-specific, coming from the common factor with the remainder deriving from substance specific genetic risk factors. By contrast, all of the shared environmental effects, which accounted for 18-20% of the variance in liability, were non-specific.
In accord with prior studies based on personal interviews, the large preponderance of genetic risk factors for abuse of specific classes of psychoactive substance are non-specific. These results suggest that genetic variation in the primary sites of action of the psychoactive drugs, which differ widely across most drug classes, play a minor role in human individual differences in risk for DA.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 01/2015; 149. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.01.016 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The new software package OpenMx 2.0 for structural equation and other statistical modeling is introduced and its features are described. OpenMx is evolving in a modular direction and now allows a mix-and-match computational approach that separates model expectations from fit functions and optimizers. Major backend architectural improvements include a move to swappable open-source optimizers such as the newly written CSOLNP. Entire new methodologies such as item factor analysis and state space modeling have been implemented. New model expectation functions including support for the expression of models in LISREL syntax and a simplified multigroup expectation function are available. Ease-of-use improvements include helper functions to standardize model parameters and compute their Jacobian-based standard errors, access to model components through standard R $ mechanisms, and improved tab completion from within the R Graphical User Interface.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Alcohol consumption is typically correlated with the alcohol use behaviors of one's peers. Previous research has suggested that this positive relationship could be due to social selection, social influence, or a combination of both processes. However, few studies have considered the role of shared genetic and environmental influences in conjunction with causal processes.Methods
This study uses data from a sample of male twins (N = 1,790) who provided retrospective reports of their own alcohol consumption and their peers' alcohol-related behaviors, from adolescence into young adulthood (ages 12 to 25). Structural equation modeling was employed to compare 3 plausible models of genetic and environmental influences on the relationship between phenotypes over time.ResultsModel fitting indicated that one's own alcohol consumption and the alcohol use of one's peers are related through both genetic and shared environmental factors and through unique environmental causal influences. The relative magnitude of these factors, and their contribution to covariation, changed over time, with genetic factors becoming more meaningful later in development.Conclusions
Peers' alcohol use behaviors and one's own alcohol consumption are related through a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors that act via correlated factors and the complementary causal mechanisms of social selection and influence. Understanding these processes can inform risk assessment as well as improve our ability to model the development of alcohol use.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 01/2015; 39(2). DOI:10.1111/acer.12624 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Twin studies have shown that criminal behavior (CB) is influenced by both genetic and shared environmental factors. Could these results be replicated using full-siblings and half-siblings?
In 911 009 full-siblings reared together (FSRT), 41 872 half-siblings reared together (HSRT) and 52 590 half-siblings reared apart (HSRA), CB was assessed from the Swedish Crime Register. Modeling, including testing for age differences and rearing status, was performed using the OpenMx package.
Five sibling models were fitted examining FSRT and HSRT 0-2 years different in age, and both FSRT and HSRT, and FSRT, HSRT and HSRA 0-10 years different in age with and without a specified shared environment indexing age differences. Heritability estimates for CB ranged from 33 to 55% in females and 39 to 56% in males, similar to those found in our prior twin study on the same population. Estimates for the shared environment varied from 1 to 14% in females and 10 to 23% in males, lower than those estimated in the twin study. The specified shared environment indexed by sibling age differences was significant in all models tested.
Heritability estimates for CB from full- and half-siblings closely approximated those found from twins in the same population, validating the twin method. Shared environmental estimates were lower, suggesting the presence of shared environmental factors for CB specific to twins. When rearing status can be assessed, full- and half-siblings offer an additional method for assessing the role of genetic and environmental factors in complex disorders. However, age differences in siblings may need to be included in the models.
Psychological Medicine 12/2014; 45(09):1-8. DOI:10.1017/S0033291714002979 · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
As the architecture of complex traits incorporates a widening spectrum of genetic variation, analyses integrating common and rare variation are needed. Body mass index (BMI) represents a model trait, since common variation shows robust association but accounts for a fraction of the heritability. A combined analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and copy number variation (CNV) was performed using 1850 European and 498 African-Americans from the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment. Genetic risk sum scores (GRSS) were constructed using 32 BMI-validated SNPs and aggregate-risk methods were compared: count versus weighted and proxy versus imputation.
The weighted SNP-GRSS constructed from imputed probabilities of risk alleles performed best and was highly associated with BMI (p=4.3×10(-16)) accounting for 3% of the phenotypic variance. In addition to BMI-validated SNPs, common and rare BMI/obesity-associated CNVs were identified from the literature. Of the 84 CNVs previously reported, only 21-kilobase deletions on 16p12.3 showed evidence for association with BMI (p=0.003, frequency=16.9%), with two CNVs nominally associated with class II obesity, 1p36.1 duplications (OR=3.1, p=0.009, frequency 1.2%) and 5q13.2 deletions (OR=1.5, p=0.048, frequency 7.7%). All other CNVs, individually and in aggregate, were not associated with BMI or obesity. The combined model, including covariates, SNP-GRSS, and 16p12.3 deletion accounted for 11.5% of phenotypic variance in BMI (3.2% from genetic effects). Models significantly predicted obesity classification with maximum discriminative ability for morbid-obesity (p=3.15×10(-18)).
Results show that incorporating validated effect sizes and allelic probabilities improve prediction algorithms. Although rare-CNVs did not account for significant phenotypic variation, results provide a framework for integrated analyses.