University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Genetic Influences on Eight Psychiatric Disorders Based on Family Data of 4 408 646 Full and Half-siblings, and Genetic Data of 333 748 Cases and Controls

Pettersson, E., Lichtenstein, P., Larsson, H., Song, J., Hyperactivity Disorder Working Group of the iPSYCH-Broad-PGC Con, , Autism Spectrum Disorder Working Group of the iPSYCH-Broad-PGC, , Bipolar Disorder Working Group, of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Gordon-Smith, Katherine ORCID:, Jones, Lisa ORCID:, Perry, Amy ORCID:, Eating Disorder Working Group of the PGC, , Major Depressive Disorder Working Group of the, Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders & Tourette Syndrome Working Group, , Schizophrenia CLOZUK, , Substance Use Disorder Working Group of the PGC, , Agrawal, A., Børglum, A.D., Bulik, C., Daly, M.J., Davis, L., Demontis, D., Edenberg, H.J., Grove, J., Gelernter, J., Neale, B.M., Pardiñas, A., Stahl, E., Walters, J., Sullivan, P., Posthuma, D. and Polderman, T. (2019) Genetic Influences on Eight Psychiatric Disorders Based on Family Data of 4 408 646 Full and Half-siblings, and Genetic Data of 333 748 Cases and Controls. Psychological Medicine, 49 (7). pp. 1166-1173. ISSN Print:0033-2917 Online: 1469-8978

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Background. Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders.
However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic
instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases.
We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of
the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
Methods. We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and
maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes
(N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic
criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia
nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder,
(5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder
(OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Results. Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to
0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from
0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with
national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation
increased to 0.50.
Conclusions. Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for
these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different
methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences
between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: ADHD, alcohol dependence, anorexia nervosa, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, genes, heritability, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Katherine Gordon-Smith
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2019 20:49
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:31

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