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Chronological Changes in Genetic Variance and Heritability of Anthropometric Characteristics Among Chinese Twin Infants

  • C.J. Chen (a1), M.W. Yu (a1), C.J. Wang (a1), S.L. Tong (a1), M. Tien (a1), T.Y. Lee (a2), H.C. Lue (a2), F.Y. Huang (a3), C.C. Lan (a3), K.H. Yang (a4), H.C. Wang (a4), H.Y. Shih (a5), C.Y. Liu (a5) and J.S. Chen (a2)...

Abstract

In order to examine the chronologic changes in genetic variance and heritability of anthropometric characteristics of Chinese infants in Taiwan, a total of 521 pairs of same-sexed twin neonates given birth in four major general teaching hospitals in Taipei City were studied. Based on the placental pattern and 12 red blood cell antigens, 428 MZ and 93 DZ twin pairs were identified and followed up to the age of one year. There was no significant genetic variance for all anthropometric characteristics adjusted for sex and gestational week before the age of six months. After adjusting for sex and gestational week, a significant genetic variance was observed at the age of six months, with heritability values of 0.51 (weight), 0.63 (head circumference), 0.77 (chest circumference), and 0.53 (arm circumference), as well as at one year, although with considerably lower heritability values. This implies that growth is dynamically determined by both genetic and environmental factors during infancy.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Institute of Public Health, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, 1 Jen-Ai Rd. Sec. 1, Taipei 10018, Taiwan, Republic of China

References

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1. Chen, CJ, Lin, TM, Chang, C, et al (1987): Epidemiological characteristics of twinning rates in Taiwan. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 36:35.
2. Christian, JC (1979): Testing twin means and estimating genetic variance: Basic methodology for the analysis of quantitative twin data. Acta Genet Med Gemellol 28:35.
3. Falconer, DS (1960): Quantitative Genetics. New York: Ronald.
4. Haseman, JK, Elston, RC (1970): The estimation of genetic veriance from twin data. Behav Genet 1:11.
5. Kempthorne, O, Osborne, RH (1961): The interpretation of twin data. Am J Hum Genet 13:320.

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