Molecular Genetic Contributions to Social Deprivation and Household Income in UK Biobank

Current Biology : CB
W David HillIan J Deary


Individuals with lower socio-economic status (SES) are at increased risk of physical and mental illnesses and tend to die at an earlier age [1-3]. Explanations for the association between SES and health typically focus on factors that are environmental in origin [4]. However, common SNPs have been found collectively to explain around 18% of the phenotypic variance of an area-based social deprivation measure of SES [5]. Molecular genetic studies have also shown that common physical and psychiatric diseases are partly heritable [6]. It is possible that phenotypic associations between SES and health arise partly due to a shared genetic etiology. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on social deprivation and on household income using 112,151 participants of UK Biobank. We find that common SNPs explain 21% of the variation in social deprivation and 11% of household income. Two independent loci attained genome-wide significance for household income, with the most significant SNP in each of these loci being rs187848990 on chromosome 2 and rs8100891 on chromosome 19. Genes in the regions of these SNPs have been associated with intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and synaptic plasticity. Extensive genetic correlatio...Continue Reading


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