An atlas of genetic correlations across human diseases and traits.

Nat Genet 2015 Nov 28;47(11):1236-41. Epub 2015 Sep 28.

Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Identifying genetic correlations between complex traits and diseases can provide useful etiological insights and help prioritize likely causal relationships. The major challenges preventing estimation of genetic correlation from genome-wide association study (GWAS) data with current methods are the lack of availability of individual-level genotype data and widespread sample overlap among meta-analyses. We circumvent these difficulties by introducing a technique-cross-trait LD Score regression-for estimating genetic correlation that requires only GWAS summary statistics and is not biased by sample overlap. We use this method to estimate 276 genetic correlations among 24 traits. The results include genetic correlations between anorexia nervosa and schizophrenia, anorexia and obesity, and educational attainment and several diseases. These results highlight the power of genome-wide analyses, as there currently are no significantly associated SNPs for anorexia nervosa and only three for educational attainment.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4797329PMC
November 2015
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