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A novel sibling-based design to quantify genetic and shared environmental effects : application to drug abuse, alcohol use disorder and criminal behavior

Kendler, K S; Ohlsson, H LU ; Edwards, A C; Lichtenstein, P; Sundquist, K LU and Sundquist, J LU (2016) In Psychological Medicine 46(8). p.1639-1650
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Twin studies have been criticized for upwardly biased estimates that might contribute to the missing heritability problem.

METHOD: We identified, from the general Swedish population born 1960-1990, informative sibships containing a proband, one reared-together full- or half-sibling and a full-, step- or half-sibling with varying degrees of childhood cohabitation with the proband. Estimates of genetic, shared and individual specific environment for drug abuse (DA), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and criminal behavior (CB), assessed from medical, legal or pharmacy registries, were obtained using Mplus.

RESULTS: Aggregate estimates of additive genetic effects for DA, AUD and CB obtained separately in males and females... (More)

BACKGROUND: Twin studies have been criticized for upwardly biased estimates that might contribute to the missing heritability problem.

METHOD: We identified, from the general Swedish population born 1960-1990, informative sibships containing a proband, one reared-together full- or half-sibling and a full-, step- or half-sibling with varying degrees of childhood cohabitation with the proband. Estimates of genetic, shared and individual specific environment for drug abuse (DA), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and criminal behavior (CB), assessed from medical, legal or pharmacy registries, were obtained using Mplus.

RESULTS: Aggregate estimates of additive genetic effects for DA, AUD and CB obtained separately in males and females varied from 0.46 to 0.73 and agreed with those obtained from monozygotic and dizygotic twins from the same population. Of 54 heritability estimates from individual classes of informative sibling trios (3 syndromes × 9 classes of trios × 2 sexes), heritability estimates from the siblings were lower, tied and higher than those from obtained from twins in 26, one and 27 comparisons, respectively. By contrast, of 54 shared environmental estimates, 33 were lower than those found in twins, one tied and 20 were higher.

CONCLUSIONS: With adequate information, human populations can provide many methods for estimating genetic and shared environmental effects. For the three externalizing syndromes examined, concerns that heritability estimates from twin studies are upwardly biased or were not generalizable to more typical kinds of siblings were not supported. Overestimation of heritability from twin studies is not a likely explanation for the missing heritability problem.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Psychological Medicine
volume
46
issue
8
pages
1639 - 1650
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:84961390249
  • wos:000375925300006
ISSN
1469-8978
DOI
10.1017/S003329171500224X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d986f911-afd9-420a-9f97-a79ded817559
date added to LUP
2016-04-13 13:52:52
date last changed
2017-07-30 05:09:39
@article{d986f911-afd9-420a-9f97-a79ded817559,
  abstract     = {<p>BACKGROUND: Twin studies have been criticized for upwardly biased estimates that might contribute to the missing heritability problem.</p><p>METHOD: We identified, from the general Swedish population born 1960-1990, informative sibships containing a proband, one reared-together full- or half-sibling and a full-, step- or half-sibling with varying degrees of childhood cohabitation with the proband. Estimates of genetic, shared and individual specific environment for drug abuse (DA), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and criminal behavior (CB), assessed from medical, legal or pharmacy registries, were obtained using Mplus.</p><p>RESULTS: Aggregate estimates of additive genetic effects for DA, AUD and CB obtained separately in males and females varied from 0.46 to 0.73 and agreed with those obtained from monozygotic and dizygotic twins from the same population. Of 54 heritability estimates from individual classes of informative sibling trios (3 syndromes × 9 classes of trios × 2 sexes), heritability estimates from the siblings were lower, tied and higher than those from obtained from twins in 26, one and 27 comparisons, respectively. By contrast, of 54 shared environmental estimates, 33 were lower than those found in twins, one tied and 20 were higher.</p><p>CONCLUSIONS: With adequate information, human populations can provide many methods for estimating genetic and shared environmental effects. For the three externalizing syndromes examined, concerns that heritability estimates from twin studies are upwardly biased or were not generalizable to more typical kinds of siblings were not supported. Overestimation of heritability from twin studies is not a likely explanation for the missing heritability problem.</p>},
  author       = {Kendler, K S and Ohlsson, H and Edwards, A C and Lichtenstein, P and Sundquist, K and Sundquist, J},
  issn         = {1469-8978},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1639--1650},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Psychological Medicine},
  title        = {A novel sibling-based design to quantify genetic and shared environmental effects : application to drug abuse, alcohol use disorder and criminal behavior},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329171500224X},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2016},
}