Publications by authors named "Teemu Palviainen"

34 Publications

Genetic association study of childhood aggression across raters, instruments, and age.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 07 30;11(1):413. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Childhood aggressive behavior (AGG) has a substantial heritability of around 50%. Here we present a genome-wide association meta-analysis (GWAMA) of childhood AGG, in which all phenotype measures across childhood ages from multiple assessors were included. We analyzed phenotype assessments for a total of 328 935 observations from 87 485 children aged between 1.5 and 18 years, while accounting for sample overlap. We also meta-analyzed within subsets of the data, i.e., within rater, instrument and age. SNP-heritability for the overall meta-analysis (AGG) was 3.31% (SE = 0.0038). We found no genome-wide significant SNPs for AGG. The gene-based analysis returned three significant genes: ST3GAL3 (P = 1.6E-06), PCDH7 (P = 2.0E-06), and IPO13 (P = 2.5E-06). All three genes have previously been associated with educational traits. Polygenic scores based on our GWAMA significantly predicted aggression in a holdout sample of children (variance explained = 0.44%) and in retrospectively assessed childhood aggression (variance explained = 0.20%). Genetic correlations (r) among rater-specific assessment of AGG ranged from r = 0.46 between self- and teacher-assessment to r = 0.81 between mother- and teacher-assessment. We obtained moderate-to-strong rs with selected phenotypes from multiple domains, but hardly with any of the classical biomarkers thought to be associated with AGG. Significant genetic correlations were observed with most psychiatric and psychological traits (range [Formula: see text]: 0.19-1.00), except for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Aggression had a negative genetic correlation (r = ~-0.5) with cognitive traits and age at first birth. Aggression was strongly genetically correlated with smoking phenotypes (range [Formula: see text]: 0.46-0.60). The genetic correlations between aggression and psychiatric disorders were weaker for teacher-reported AGG than for mother- and self-reported AGG. The current GWAMA of childhood aggression provides a powerful tool to interrogate the rater-specific genetic etiology of AGG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01480-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8324785PMC
July 2021

Genome-wide association studies identify 137 genetic loci for DNA methylation biomarkers of aging.

Genome Biol 2021 06 29;22(1):194. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Biological aging estimators derived from DNA methylation data are heritable and correlate with morbidity and mortality. Consequently, identification of genetic and environmental contributors to the variation in these measures in populations has become a major goal in the field.

Results: Leveraging DNA methylation and SNP data from more than 40,000 individuals, we identify 137 genome-wide significant loci, of which 113 are novel, from genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of four epigenetic clocks and epigenetic surrogate markers for granulocyte proportions and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels, respectively. We find evidence for shared genetic loci associated with the Horvath clock and expression of transcripts encoding genes linked to lipid metabolism and immune function. Notably, these loci are independent of those reported to regulate DNA methylation levels at constituent clock CpGs. A polygenic score for GrimAge acceleration showed strong associations with adiposity-related traits, educational attainment, parental longevity, and C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusion: This study illuminates the genetic architecture underlying epigenetic aging and its shared genetic contributions with lifestyle factors and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02398-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243879PMC
June 2021

The Associations Between Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Academic Performance: A Twin Study.

J Phys Act Health 2021 Jun 17:1-6. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Background: Both genetic and environmental influences have been shown to contribute to the association between physical activity and overall academic performance. The authors examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) shares genetic and environmental variances between spelling, essay writing, reading aloud, reading comprehension, and mathematics in early adolescence. Moreover, they investigated whether genetic polymorphisms associated with physical activity behavior affect these academic skills.

Methods: Participants were 12-year-old Finnish twins (n = 4356-4370 twins/academic skill, 49% girls). Academic skills were assessed by teachers, and LTPA was self-reported. Polygenic scores for physical activity behavior were constructed from the UK Biobank. Quantitative genetic modeling and linear regression models were used to analyze the data.

Results: The trait correlations between LTPA and academic skills were significant but weak (r = .05-.08). The highest trait correlation was found between LTPA and mathematics. A significant genetic correlation was revealed between LTPA and essay writing (rA = .14). Regarding polygenic scores of physical activity, the highest correlations were found with reading comprehension, spelling, and essay writing, but these results only approached statistical significance (P values = .09-.15).

Conclusions: The authors' results suggest that reading and writing are the academic skills that most likely share a common genetic background with LTPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2020-0746DOI Listing
June 2021

Variants associated with expression have sex-differential effects on lung function.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 24;5:111. Epub 2021 May 24.

Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.

Lung function is highly heritable and differs between the sexes throughout life. However, little is known about sex-differential genetic effects on lung function. We aimed to conduct the first genome-wide genotype-by-sex interaction study on lung function to identify genetic effects that differ between males and females. We tested for interactions between 7,745,864 variants and sex on spirometry-based measures of lung function in UK Biobank (N=303,612), and sought replication in 75,696 independent individuals from the SpiroMeta consortium. Five independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed genome-wide significant (P<5x10 ) interactions with sex on lung function, and 21 showed suggestive interactions (P<1x10 ). The strongest signal, from rs7697189 (chr4:145436894) on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV ) (P=3.15x10 ), was replicated (P=0.016) in SpiroMeta. The C allele increased FEV more in males (untransformed FEV β=0.028 [SE 0.0022] litres) than females (β=0.009 [SE 0.0014] litres), and this effect was not accounted for by differential effects on height, smoking or pubertal age. rs7697189 resides upstream of the hedgehog-interacting protein ( ) gene and was previously associated with lung function and lung expression. We found expression was significantly different between the sexes (P=6.90x10 ), but we could not detect sex differential effects of rs7697189 on expression. We identified a novel genotype-by-sex interaction at a putative enhancer region upstream of the gene. Establishing the mechanism by which SNPs have different effects on lung function in males and females will be important for our understanding of lung health and diseases in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15846.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938335.2PMC
May 2021

The genetic background of the associations between sense of coherence and mental health, self-esteem and personality.

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Purpose: Sense of coherence (SOC) represents coping and can be considered an essential component of mental health. SOC correlates with mental health and personality, but the background of these associations is poorly understood. We analyzed the role of genetic factors behind the associations of SOC with mental health, self-esteem and personality using genetic twin modeling and polygenic scores (PGS).

Methods: Information on SOC (13-item Orientation of Life Questionnaire), four mental health indicators, self-esteem and personality (NEO Five Factor Inventory Questionnaire) was collected from 1295 Finnish twins at 20-27 years of age.

Results: In men and women, SOC correlated negatively with depression, alexithymia, schizotypal personality and overall mental health problems and positively with self-esteem. For personality factors, neuroticism was associated with weaker SOC and extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness with stronger SOC. All these psychological traits were influenced by genetic factors with heritability estimates ranging from 19 to 66%. Genetic and environmental factors explained these associations, but the genetic correlations were generally stronger. The PGS of major depressive disorder was associated with weaker, and the PGS of general risk tolerance with stronger SOC in men, whereas in women the PGS of subjective well-being was associated with stronger SOC and the PGSs of depression and neuroticism with weaker SOC.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that a substantial proportion of genetic variation in SOC is shared with mental health, self-esteem and personality indicators. This suggests that the correlations between these traits reflect a common neurobiological background rather than merely the influence of external stressors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-021-02098-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Genetic meta-analysis of twin birth weight shows high genetic correlation with singleton birth weight.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep;30(19):1894-1905

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Birth weight (BW) is an important predictor of newborn survival and health and has associations with many adult health outcomes, including cardiometabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and mental health. On average, twins have a lower BW than singletons as a result of a different pattern of fetal growth and shorter gestational duration. Therefore, investigations into the genetics of BW often exclude data from twins, leading to a reduction in sample size and remaining ambiguities concerning the genetic contribution to BW in twins. In this study, we carried out a genome-wide association meta-analysis of BW in 42 212 twin individuals and found a positive correlation of beta values (Pearson's r = 0.66, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.47-0.77) with 150 previously reported genome-wide significant variants for singleton BW. We identified strong positive genetic correlations between BW in twins and numerous anthropometric traits, most notably with BW in singletons (genetic correlation [rg] = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.66-1.18). Genetic correlations of BW in twins with a series of health-related traits closely resembled those previously observed for BW in singletons. Polygenic scores constructed from a genome-wide association study on BW in the UK Biobank demonstrated strong predictive power in a target sample of Dutch twins and singletons. Together, our results indicate that a similar genetic architecture underlies BW in twins and singletons and that future genome-wide studies might benefit from including data from large twin registers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8444448PMC
September 2021

Endotoxemia is associated with an adverse metabolic profile.

Innate Immun 2021 Jan 27;27(1):3-14. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Our aim was to analyze whether endotoxemia, i.e. translocation of LPS to circulation, is reflected in the serum metabolic profile in a general population and in participants with cardiometabolic disorders. We investigated three Finnish cohorts separately and in a meta-analysis ( = 7178), namely population-based FINRISK97, FinnTwin16 consisting of young adult twins, and Parogene, a random cohort of cardiac patients. Endotoxemia was determined as serum LPS activity and metabolome by an NMR platform. Potential effects of body mass index (BMI), smoking, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and coronary heart disease (CHD) status were considered. Endotoxemia was directly associated with concentrations of VLDL, IDL, LDL, and small HDL lipoproteins, VLDL particle diameter, total fatty acids (FA), glycoprotein acetyls (GlycA), aromatic and branched-chain amino acids, and Glc, and inversely associated with concentration of large HDL, diameters of LDL and HDL, as well as unsaturation degree of FAs. Some of these disadvantageous associations were significantly stronger in smokers and subjects with high BMI, but did not differ between participants with different CHD status. In participants with MetS, however, the associations of endotoxemia with FA parameters and GlycA were particularly strong. The metabolic profile in endotoxemia appears highly adverse, involving several inflammatory characters and risk factors for cardiometabolic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1753425920971702DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780360PMC
January 2021

An integrative machine learning approach to discovering multi-level molecular mechanisms of obesity using data from monozygotic twin pairs.

R Soc Open Sci 2020 Oct 21;7(10):200872. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

We combined clinical, cytokine, genomic, methylation and dietary data from 43 young adult monozygotic twin pairs (aged 22-36 years, 53% female), where 25 of the twin pairs were substantially weight discordant (delta body mass index > 3 kg m). These measurements were originally taken as part of the TwinFat study, a substudy of The Finnish Twin Cohort study. These five large multivariate datasets (comprising 42, 71, 1587, 1605 and 63 variables, respectively) were jointly analysed using an integrative machine learning method called group factor analysis (GFA) to offer new hypotheses into the multi-molecular-level interactions associated with the development of obesity. New potential links between cytokines and weight gain are identified, as well as associations between dietary, inflammatory and epigenetic factors. This encouraging case study aims to enthuse the research community to boldly attempt new machine learning approaches which have the potential to yield novel and unintuitive hypotheses. The source code of the GFA method is publically available as the R package GFA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7657920PMC
October 2020

Expanding the genetic architecture of nicotine dependence and its shared genetics with multiple traits.

Nat Commun 2020 11 3;11(1):5562. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, 68159, Mannheim, Germany.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. Genetic variation contributes to initiation, regular smoking, nicotine dependence, and cessation. We present a Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND)-based genome-wide association study in 58,000 European or African ancestry smokers. We observe five genome-wide significant loci, including previously unreported loci MAGI2/GNAI1 (rs2714700) and TENM2 (rs1862416), and extend loci reported for other smoking traits to nicotine dependence. Using the heaviness of smoking index from UK Biobank (N = 33,791), rs2714700 is consistently associated; rs1862416 is not associated, likely reflecting nicotine dependence features not captured by the heaviness of smoking index. Both variants influence nearby gene expression (rs2714700/MAGI2-AS3 in hippocampus; rs1862416/TENM2 in lung), and expression of genes spanning nicotine dependence-associated variants is enriched in cerebellum. Nicotine dependence (SNP-based heritability = 8.6%) is genetically correlated with 18 other smoking traits (r = 0.40-1.09) and co-morbidities. Our results highlight nicotine dependence-specific loci, emphasizing the FTND as a composite phenotype that expands genetic knowledge of smoking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19265-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642344PMC
November 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 01 28;5(1):59-70. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Mental Health Services of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Handedness has been extensively studied because of its relationship with language and the over-representation of left-handers in some neurodevelopmental disorders. Using data from the UK Biobank, 23andMe and the International Handedness Consortium, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of handedness (N = 1,766,671). We found 41 loci associated (P < 5 × 10) with left-handedness and 7 associated with ambidexterity. Tissue-enrichment analysis implicated the CNS in the aetiology of handedness. Pathways including regulation of microtubules and brain morphology were also highlighted. We found suggestive positive genetic correlations between left-handedness and neuropsychiatric traits, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the genetic correlation between left-handedness and ambidexterity is low (r = 0.26), which implies that these traits are largely influenced by different genetic mechanisms. Our findings suggest that handedness is highly polygenic and that the genetic variants that predispose to left-handedness may underlie part of the association with some psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00956-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116623PMC
January 2021

The genetic architecture of the association between eating behaviors and obesity: combining genetic twin modeling and polygenic risk scores.

Am J Clin Nutr 2020 10;112(4):956-966

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Obesity susceptibility genes are highly expressed in the brain suggesting that they might exert their influence on body weight through eating-related behaviors.

Objectives: To examine whether the genetic susceptibility to obesity is mediated by eating behavior patterns.

Methods: Participants were 3977 twins (33% monozygotic, 56% females), aged 31-37 y, from wave 5 of the FinnTwin16 study. They self-reported their height and weight, eating behaviors (15 items), diet quality, and self-measured their waist circumference (WC). For 1055 twins with genome-wide data, we constructed a polygenic risk score for BMI (PRSBMI) using almost 1 million single nucleotide polymorphisms. We used principal component analyses to identify eating behavior patterns, twin modeling to decompose correlations into genetic and environmental components, and structural equation modeling to test mediation models between the PRSBMI, eating behavior patterns, and obesity measures.

Results: We identified 4 moderately heritable (h2 = 36-48%) eating behavior patterns labeled "snacking," "infrequent and unhealthy eating," "avoidant eating," and "emotional and external eating." The highest phenotypic correlation with obesity measures was found for the snacking behavior pattern (r = 0.35 for BMI and r = 0.32 for WC; P < 0.001 for both), largely due to genetic factors in common (bivariate h2 > 70%). The snacking behavior pattern partially mediated the association between the PRSBMI and obesity measures (βindirect = 0.06; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.09; P = 0.002 for BMI; and βindirect = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.08; P = 0.003 for WC).

Conclusions: Eating behavior patterns share a common genetic liability with obesity measures and are moderately heritable. Genetic susceptibility to obesity can be partly mediated by an eating pattern characterized by frequent snacking. Obesity prevention efforts might therefore benefit from focusing on eating behavior change, particularly in genetically susceptible individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528566PMC
October 2020

Higher aggression is related to poorer academic performance in compulsory education.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2021 03 31;62(3):327-338. Epub 2020 May 31.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: To conduct a comprehensive assessment of the association between aggression and academic performance in compulsory education.

Method: We studied aggression and academic performance in over 27,000 individuals from four European twin cohorts participating in the ACTION consortium (Aggression in Children: Unraveling gene-environment interplay to inform Treatment and InterventiON strategies). Individual level data on aggression at ages 7-16 were assessed by three instruments (Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment, Multidimensional Peer Nomination Inventory, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) including parental, teacher and self-reports. Academic performance was measured with teacher-rated grade point averages (ages 12-14) or standardized test scores (ages 12-16). Random effect meta-analytical correlations with academic performance were estimated for parental ratings (in all four cohorts) and self-ratings (in three cohorts).

Results: All between-family analyses indicated significant negative aggression-academic performance associations with correlations ranging from -.06 to -.33. Results were similar across different ages, instruments and raters and either with teacher-rated grade point averages or standardized test scores as measures of academic performance. Meta-analytical r's were -.20 and -.23 for parental and self-ratings, respectively. In within-family analyses of all twin pairs, the negative aggression-academic performance associations were statistically significant in 14 out of 17 analyses (r = -.17 for parental- and r = -.16 for self-ratings). Separate analyses in monozygotic (r = -.07 for parental and self-ratings), same-sex dizygotic (r's = -.16 and -.17 for parental and self-ratings) and opposite-sex dizygotic (r's = -.21 and -.19 for parental and self-ratings) twin pairs suggested partial confounding by genetic effects.

Conclusions: There is a robust negative association between aggression and academic performance in compulsory education. Part of these associations were explained by shared genetic effects, but some evidence of a negative association between aggression and academic performance remained even in within-family analyses of monozygotic twin pairs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13273DOI Listing
March 2021

Identification of as a locus affecting nicotine preference in zebrafish and human smoking behaviour.

Elife 2020 03 25;9. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

To facilitate smoking genetics research we determined whether a screen of mutagenized zebrafish for nicotine preference could predict loci affecting smoking behaviour. From 30 screened F sibling groups, where each was derived from an individual ethyl-nitrosurea mutagenized F fish, two showed increased or decreased nicotine preference. Out of 25 inactivating mutations carried by the F fish, one in the gene segregated with increased nicotine preference in heterozygous individuals. Focussed SNP analysis of the human locus in cohorts from UK (n=863) and Finland (n=1715) identified two variants associated with cigarette consumption and likelihood of cessation. Characterisation of mutant larvae and adult fish revealed decreased sensitivity to the dopaminergic and serotonergic antagonist amisulpride, known to affect startle reflex that is correlated with addiction in humans, and increased mRNA expression in mutant larvae. No effect on neuronal pathfinding was detected. These findings reveal a role for SLIT3 in development of pathways affecting responses to nicotine in zebrafish and smoking in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.51295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096180PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analysis of nicotine metabolism and cigarette consumption measures in smokers of European descent.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Jun 10;26(6):2212-2223. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, CAMH, and Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Smoking behaviors, including amount smoked, smoking cessation, and tobacco-related diseases, are altered by the rate of nicotine clearance. Nicotine clearance can be estimated using the nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) (ratio of 3'hydroxycotinine/cotinine), but only in current smokers. Advancing the genomics of this highly heritable biomarker of CYP2A6, the main metabolic enzyme for nicotine, will also enable investigation of never and former smokers. We performed the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date of the NMR in European ancestry current smokers (n = 5185), found 1255 genome-wide significant variants, and replicated the chromosome 19 locus. Fine-mapping of chromosome 19 revealed 13 putatively causal variants, with nine of these being highly putatively causal and mapping to CYP2A6, MAP3K10, ADCK4, and CYP2B6. We also identified a putatively causal variant on chromosome 4 mapping to TMPRSS11E and demonstrated an association between TMPRSS11E variation and a UGT2B17 activity phenotype. Together the 14 putatively causal SNPs explained ~38% of NMR variation, a substantial increase from the ~20 to 30% previously explained. Our additional GWASs of nicotine intake biomarkers showed that cotinine and smoking intensity (cotinine/cigarettes per day (CPD)) shared chromosome 19 and chromosome 4 loci with the NMR, and that cotinine and a more accurate biomarker, cotinine + 3'hydroxycotinine, shared a chromosome 15 locus near CHRNA5 with CPD and Pack-Years (i.e., cumulative exposure). Understanding the genetic factors influencing smoking-related traits facilitates epidemiological studies of smoking and disease, as well as assists in optimizing smoking cessation support, which in turn will reduce the enormous personal and societal costs associated with smoking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0702-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483250PMC
June 2021

Genomic prediction of alcohol-related morbidity and mortality.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 01 21;10(1):23. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

While polygenic risk scores (PRS) have been shown to predict many diseases and risk factors, the potential of genomic prediction in harm caused by alcohol use has not yet been extensively studied. Here, we built a novel polygenic risk score of 1.1 million variants for alcohol consumption and studied its predictive capacity in 96,499 participants from the FinnGen study and 39,695 participants from prospective cohorts with detailed baseline data and up to 25 years of follow-up time. A 1 SD increase in the PRS was associated with 11.2 g (=0.93 drinks) higher weekly alcohol consumption (CI = 9.85-12.58 g, p = 2.3 × 10). The PRS was associated with alcohol-related morbidity (4785 incident events) and the risk estimate between the highest and lowest quintiles of the PRS was 1.83 (95% CI = 1.66-2.01, p = 1.6 × 10). When adjusted for self-reported alcohol consumption, education, marital status, and gamma-glutamyl transferase blood levels in 28,639 participants with comprehensive baseline data from prospective cohorts, the risk estimate between the highest and lowest quintiles of the PRS was 1.58 (CI = 1.26-1.99, p = 8.2 × 10). The PRS was also associated with all-cause mortality with a risk estimate of 1.33 between the highest and lowest quintiles (CI = 1.20-1.47, p = 4.5 × 10) in the adjusted model. In conclusion, the PRS for alcohol consumption independently associates for both alcohol-related morbidity and all-cause mortality. Together, these findings underline the importance of heritable factors in alcohol-related health burden while highlighting how measured genetic risk for an important behavioral risk factor can be used to predict related health outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0676-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7026428PMC
January 2020

Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies.

Addict Biol 2021 01 16;26(1):e12880. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [r ], twin-based = 0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation between eating disorder and substance use and disorder phenotypes using data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Four eating disorder phenotypes (anorexia nervosa [AN], AN with binge eating, AN without binge eating, and a bulimia nervosa factor score), and eight substance-use-related phenotypes (drinks per week, alcohol use disorder [AUD], smoking initiation, current smoking, cigarettes per day, nicotine dependence, cannabis initiation, and cannabis use disorder) from eight studies were included. Significant genetic correlations were adjusted for variants associated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Total study sample sizes per phenotype ranged from ~2400 to ~537 000 individuals. We used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate single nucleotide polymorphism-based genetic correlations between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes. Significant positive genetic associations emerged between AUD and AN (r = 0.18; false discovery rate q = 0.0006), cannabis initiation and AN (r = 0.23; q < 0.0001), and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating (r = 0.27; q = 0.0016). Conversely, significant negative genetic correlations were observed between three nondiagnostic smoking phenotypes (smoking initiation, current smoking, and cigarettes per day) and AN without binge eating (r = -0.19 to -0.23; qs < 0.04). The genetic correlation between AUD and AN was no longer significant after co-varying for major depressive disorder loci. The patterns of association between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes highlights the potentially complex and substance-specific relationships among these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429266PMC
January 2021

Polygenic Risk Scores and Physical Activity.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2020 07;52(7):1518-1524

Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, FINLAND.

Purpose: Polygenic risk scores (PRS) summarize genome-wide genotype data into a single variable that produces an individual-level risk score for genetic liability. PRS has been used for prediction of chronic diseases and some risk factors. As PRS has been studied less for physical activity (PA), we constructed PRS for PA and studied how much variation in PA can be explained by this PRS in independent population samples.

Methods: We calculated PRS for self-reported and objectively measured PA using UK Biobank genome-wide association study summary statistics, and analyzed how much of the variation in self-reported (MET-hours per day) and measured (steps and moderate-to-vigorous PA minutes per day) PA could be accounted for by the PRS in the Finnish Twin Cohorts (FTC; N = 759-11,528) and the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966; N = 3263-4061). Objective measurement of PA was done with wrist-worn accelerometer in UK Biobank and NFBC1966 studies, and with hip-worn accelerometer in the FTC.

Results: The PRS accounted from 0.07% to 1.44% of the variation (R) in the self-reported and objectively measured PA volumes (P value range = 0.023 to <0.0001) in the FTC and NFBC1966. For both self-reported and objectively measured PA, individuals in the highest PRS deciles had significantly (11%-28%) higher PA volumes compared with the lowest PRS deciles (P value range = 0.017 to <0.0001).

Conclusions: PA is a multifactorial phenotype, and the PRS constructed based on UK Biobank results accounted for statistically significant but overall small proportion of the variation in PA in the Finnish cohorts. Using identical methods to assess PA and including less common and rare variants in the construction of PRS may increase the proportion of PA explained by the PRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292502PMC
July 2020

Accuracy of Imputation for Apolipoprotein E ε Alleles in Genome-Wide Genotyping Data.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 01 3;3(1):e1919960. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.19960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6991323PMC
January 2020

Association of anthropometry and weight change with risk of dementia and its major subtypes: A meta-analysis consisting 2.8 million adults with 57 294 cases of dementia.

Obes Rev 2020 04 3;21(4):e12989. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Uncertainty exists regarding the relation of body size and weight change with dementia risk. As populations continue to age and the global obesity epidemic shows no sign of waning, reliable quantification of such associations is important. We examined the relationship of body mass index, waist circumference, and annual percent weight change with risk of dementia and its subtypes by pooling data from 19 prospective cohort studies and four clinical trials using meta-analysis. Compared with body mass index-defined lower-normal weight (18.5-22.4 kg/m ), the risk of all-cause dementia was higher among underweight individuals but lower among those with upper-normal (22.5-24.9 kg/m ) levels. Obesity was associated with higher risk in vascular dementia. Similarly, relative to the lowest fifth of waist circumference, those in the highest fifth had nonsignificant higher vascular dementia risk. Weight loss was associated with higher all-cause dementia risk relative to weight maintenance. Weight gain was weakly associated with higher vascular dementia risk. The relationship between body size, weight change, and dementia is complex and exhibits non-linear associations depending on dementia subtype under scrutiny. Weight loss was associated with an elevated risk most likely due to reverse causality and/or pathophysiological changes in the brain, although the latter remains speculative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.12989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079047PMC
April 2020

FinnTwin16: A Longitudinal Study from Age 16 of a Population-Based Finnish Twin Cohort.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2019 12 3;22(6):530-539. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The purpose of this review is to provide a detailed and updated description of the FinnTwin16 (FT16) study and its future directions. The Finnish Twin Cohort comprises three different cohorts: the Older Twin Cohort established in the 1970s and the FinnTwin12 and FT16 initiated in the 1990s. FT16 was initiated in 1991 to identify the genetic and environmental precursors of alcoholism, but later the scope of the project expanded to studying the determinants of various health-related behaviors and diseases in different stages of life. The main areas addressed are alcohol use and its consequences, smoking, physical activity, overall physical health, eating behaviors and eating disorders, weight development, obesity, life satisfaction and personality. To date, five waves of data collection have been completed and the sixth is now planned. Data from the FT16 cohort have contributed to several hundred studies and many substudies, with more detailed phenotyping and collection of omics data completed or underway. FT16 has also contributed to many national and international collaborations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2019.106DOI Listing
December 2019

Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 31;10(1):4957. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands.

In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (F) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that F is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: F equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44-66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of F are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in F is independent of all environmental confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823371PMC
October 2019

FinnTwin12 Cohort: An Updated Review.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2019 10 23;22(5):302-311. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, Helsinki, Finland.

This review offers an update on research conducted with FinnTwin12 (FT12), the youngest of the three Finnish Twin Cohorts. FT12 was designed as a two-stage study. In the first stage, we conducted multiwave questionnaire research enrolling all eligible twins born in Finland during 1983-1987 along with their biological parents. In stage 2, we intensively studied a subset of these twins with in-school assessments at age 12 and semistructured poly-diagnostic interviews at age 14. At baseline, parents of intensively studied twins were administered the adult version of the interview. Laboratory studies with repeat interviews, neuropsychological tests, and collection of DNA were made of intensively studied twins during follow-up in early adulthood. The basic aim of the FT12 study design was to obtain information on individual, familial and school/neighborhood risks for substance use/abuse prior to the onset of regular tobacco and alcohol use and then track trajectories of use and abuse and their consequences into adulthood. But the longitudinal assessments were not narrowly limited to this basic aim, and with multiwave, multirater assessments from ages 11 to 12, the study has created a richly informative data set for analyses of gene-environment interactions of both candidate genes and genomewide measures with measured risk-relevant environments. Because 25 years have elapsed since the start of the study, we are planning a fifth-wave follow-up assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2019.83DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108792PMC
October 2019

Prevalence and correlates of dementia and mild cognitive impairment classified with different versions of the modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m).

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2019 12 5;34(12):1883-1891. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Objectives: The modified Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m) is an efficient and cost-effective screening instrument of dementia, but there is less support for its utility in the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We undertook a comprehensive evaluation of the utility of different TICS-m versions with or without an education-adjusted scoring method to classify dementia and MCI in a large population-based sample.

Methods: Cross-sectional assessment of cognition (TICS-m), depressive symptoms (CES-D), and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status was performed on 1772 older adults (aged 71-78 y, education 5-16 y, 50% female) from the population-based older Finnish Twin Cohort. TICS-m classification methods with and without education adjustment were used to classify individuals with normal cognition, MCI, or dementia.

Results: The prevalence of dementia and MCI varied between education-adjusted (dementia = 3.7%, MCI = 9.3%) and unadjusted classifications (dementia = 8.5%-11%, MCI = 22.3%-41.3%). APOE ε4 status was associated with dementia irrespective of education adjustment, but with MCI only when education adjustment was used. Regardless of the version, poorer continuous TICS-m scores were associated with higher age, lower education, more depressive symptoms, male sex, and being an APOE ε4 carrier.

Conclusions: We showed that demographic factors, APOE ε4 status, and depressive symptoms were similarly related to continuous TICS-m scores and dementia classifications with different versions. However, education-adjusted classification resulted in a lower prevalence of dementia and MCI and in a higher proportion of APOE ε4 allele carriers among those identified as having MCI. Our results support the use of education-adjusted classification especially in the context of MCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.5205DOI Listing
December 2019

Genome-wide association analysis of self-reported daytime sleepiness identifies 42 loci that suggest biological subtypes.

Nat Commun 2019 08 13;10(1):3503. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) affects 10-20% of the population and is associated with substantial functional deficits. Here, we identify 42 loci for self-reported daytime sleepiness in GWAS of 452,071 individuals from the UK Biobank, with enrichment for genes expressed in brain tissues and in neuronal transmission pathways. We confirm the aggregate effect of a genetic risk score of 42 SNPs on daytime sleepiness in independent Scandinavian cohorts and on other sleep disorders (restless legs syndrome, insomnia) and sleep traits (duration, chronotype, accelerometer-derived sleep efficiency and daytime naps or inactivity). However, individual daytime sleepiness signals vary in their associations with objective short vs long sleep, and with markers of sleep continuity. The 42 sleepiness variants primarily cluster into two predominant composite biological subtypes - sleep propensity and sleep fragmentation. Shared genetic links are also seen with obesity, coronary heart disease, psychiatric diseases, cognitive traits and reproductive ageing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11456-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692391PMC
August 2019

Author Correction: Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function.

Nat Commun 2019 May 1;10(1):2068. Epub 2019 May 1.

Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland.

Christina M. Lill, who contributed to analysis of data, was inadvertently omitted from the author list in the originally published version of this article. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10160-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494826PMC
May 2019

Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use.

Nat Genet 2019 02 14;51(2):237-244. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Istituto di Ricerca Genetica e Biomedica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Monserrato, Italy.

Tobacco and alcohol use are leading causes of mortality that influence risk for many complex diseases and disorders. They are heritable and etiologically related behaviors that have been resistant to gene discovery efforts. In sample sizes up to 1.2 million individuals, we discovered 566 genetic variants in 406 loci associated with multiple stages of tobacco use (initiation, cessation, and heaviness) as well as alcohol use, with 150 loci evidencing pleiotropic association. Smoking phenotypes were positively genetically correlated with many health conditions, whereas alcohol use was negatively correlated with these conditions, such that increased genetic risk for alcohol use is associated with lower disease risk. We report evidence for the involvement of many systems in tobacco and alcohol use, including genes involved in nicotinic, dopaminergic, and glutamatergic neurotransmission. The results provide a solid starting point to evaluate the effects of these loci in model organisms and more precise substance use measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0307-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358542PMC
February 2019

The effect of body mass index on smoking behaviour and nicotine metabolism: a Mendelian randomization study.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 04;28(8):1322-1330

MRC Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Given clear evidence that smoking lowers weight, it is possible that individuals with higher body mass index (BMI) smoke in order to lose or maintain their weight. We performed Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses of the effects of BMI on smoking behaviour in UK Biobank and the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium genome-wide association study (GWAS), on cotinine levels and nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) in published GWAS and on DNA methylation in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Our results indicate that higher BMI causally influences lifetime smoking, smoking initiation, smoking heaviness and also DNA methylation at the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR) locus, but we do not see evidence for an effect on smoking cessation. While there is no strong evidence that BMI causally influences cotinine levels, suggestive evidence for a negative causal influence on NMR may explain this. There is a causal effect of BMI on smoking, but the relationship is likely to be complex due to opposing effects on behaviour and metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6452214PMC
April 2019

Transancestral GWAS of alcohol dependence reveals common genetic underpinnings with psychiatric disorders.

Nat Neurosci 2018 12 26;21(12):1656-1669. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

NIH/NIAAA, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Liability to alcohol dependence (AD) is heritable, but little is known about its complex polygenic architecture or its genetic relationship with other disorders. To discover loci associated with AD and characterize the relationship between AD and other psychiatric and behavioral outcomes, we carried out the largest genome-wide association study to date of DSM-IV-diagnosed AD. Genome-wide data on 14,904 individuals with AD and 37,944 controls from 28 case-control and family-based studies were meta-analyzed, stratified by genetic ancestry (European, n = 46,568; African, n = 6,280). Independent, genome-wide significant effects of different ADH1B variants were identified in European (rs1229984; P = 9.8 × 10) and African ancestries (rs2066702; P = 2.2 × 10). Significant genetic correlations were observed with 17 phenotypes, including schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, depression, and use of cigarettes and cannabis. The genetic underpinnings of AD only partially overlap with those for alcohol consumption, underscoring the genetic distinction between pathological and nonpathological drinking behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-018-0275-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430207PMC
December 2018

Author Correction: Genome-wide association and HLA fine-mapping studies identify risk loci and genetic pathways underlying allergic rhinitis.

Nat Genet 2018 09;50(9):1343

Allergy and Lung Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

In the version of this article initially published, in Fig. 3, the y-axis numbering did not match the log scale indicated in the axis label. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF version of the article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0197-6DOI Listing
September 2018

Genome-wide association and HLA fine-mapping studies identify risk loci and genetic pathways underlying allergic rhinitis.

Nat Genet 2018 08 16;50(8):1072-1080. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

Allergy and Lung Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Allergic rhinitis is the most common clinical presentation of allergy, affecting 400 million people worldwide, with increasing incidence in westernized countries. To elucidate the genetic architecture and understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we carried out a meta-analysis of allergic rhinitis in 59,762 cases and 152,358 controls of European ancestry and identified a total of 41 risk loci for allergic rhinitis, including 20 loci not previously associated with allergic rhinitis, which were confirmed in a replication phase of 60,720 cases and 618,527 controls. Functional annotation implicated genes involved in various immune pathways, and fine mapping of the HLA region suggested amino acid variants important for antigen binding. We further performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses of allergic sensitization against inhalant allergens and nonallergic rhinitis, which suggested shared genetic mechanisms across rhinitis-related traits. Future studies of the identified loci and genes might identify novel targets for treatment and prevention of allergic rhinitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0157-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068780PMC
August 2018
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