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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Community-acquired bacteraemia patients (n = 2472), Denmark, 2000–2008. Albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and haemoglobin (Hb) measured 2000–2010. We assessed daily mean levels of albumin, CRP and Hb from 30 days before to 30 days after bacteraemia and correlations between albumin vs. CRP and albumin vs. Hb. In linear regression models, we evaluated the contribution of CRP, Hb, chronic and acute variables to the albumin level variations. The mean albumin level (33.6 g/l) was steady before day 1, declined to 29.3 g/l on day 1 with little increase afterward. The mean CRP increased from day −5, peaked on day 1 and declined thereafter. The mean Hb level was fairly constant during days −30/30. Albumin was inversely (R range, − 0.18/–0.47, P < 10−4) correlated with the CRP level and positively (R = 0.17–0.46, P < 10−4) correlated with the HB level. In most models, CRP was the first variable that contributed to the albumin variations, 34–70% of the full model. The sudden decrease of albumin levels, without sudden fluctuations of CRP or Hb, indicated that hypoalbuminaemia was a marker of trans-capillary leakage.
Studies have indicated that the association of urbanicity at birth and during upbringing with schizophrenia may be driven by familial factors such as genetic liability. We used a population-based nested case–control study to assess whether polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia was associated with urbanicity at birth and at age 15, and to assess whether PRS and parental history of mental disorder together explained the association between urbanicity and schizophrenia.
Data were drawn from Danish population registries. Cases born since 1981 and diagnosed with schizophrenia between 1994 and 2009 were matched to controls with the same sex and birthdate (1549 pairs). Genome-wide data were obtained from the Danish Neonatal Screening Biobank and PRSs were calculated based on results of a separate, large meta-analysis.
Those with higher PRS were more likely reside in the capital compared with rural areas at age 15 [odds ratio (OR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.40], but not at birth (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.95–1.26). Adjustment for PRS produced almost no change in relative risks of schizophrenia associated with urbanicity at birth, but slightly attenuated those for urban residence at age 15. Additional adjustment for parental history led to slight attenuation of relative risks for urbanicity at birth [incidence rate ratio (IRR) for birth in capital = 1.54, 95% CI 1.18–2.02; overall p = 0.016] and further attenuation of relative risks for urbanicity at age 15 (IRR for residence in capital = 1.32, 95% CI 0.97–1.78; overall p = 0.148).
While results regarding urbanicity during upbringing were somewhat equivocal, genetic liability as measured here does not appear to explain the association between urbanicity at birth and schizophrenia.
Relaxations around a shear dislocation loop on a basal plane in ice have been studied by molecular dynamics. The model intermolecular potential included directional components which stabilized the open ice structure. A random phase approximation was introduced to simulate the disordered arrangement of hydrogen bonds. The dislocation formation volume was found to be zero within the limits of computational error. This paper is published in full in Nuclear Metallurgy, Vol. 20, Pt. 1, 1976, p. 572-81.
Maternal smoking has consistently been associated with multiple adverse childhood outcomes including externalizing disorders. In contrast the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) and internalizing (anxiety and depressive) disorders in offspring has received less investigation.
We conducted a nationwide cohort study including 957635 individuals born in Denmark between 1991 and 2007. Data on MSDP and diagnoses of depression or anxiety disorders were derived from national registers and patients were followed up from the age of 5 years to the end of 2012. Hazard rate ratios (HRRs) were estimated using stratified Cox regression models. Sibling data were used to disentangle individual- and familial-level effects of MSDP and to control for unmeasured familial confounding.
At the population level, offspring exposed to MSDP were at increased risk for both severe depression [HRR 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22–1.36] and severe anxiety disorders (HRR 1.26, 95% CI 1.20–1.32) even when controlling for maternal and paternal traits. However, there was no association between MSDP and internalizing disorders when controlling for the mother's propensity for MSDP (depression: HRR 1.11, 95% CI 0.94–1.30; anxiety disorders: HRR 0.94, 95% CI 0.80–1.11) or comparing differentially exposed siblings (depression: HRR 1.18, 95% CI 0.75–1.89; anxiety disorders: HRR 0.87, 95% CI 0.55–1.36).
The results suggest that familial background factors account for the association between MSDP and severe internalizing disorders not the specific exposure to MSDP.
Commission 41 is one of the largest specialist components of the IAU. At the General Assembly in 1982 at Patras the number of ordinary members was increased from 79 to 86 as a testimony to the growing interest among astronomers in the history of their subject. At the same time the number of consulting members rose from 32 to 40, which shows that an increasing number of highly competent historians of science is engaged in research in the history of astronomy without being professional astronomers. However, many valuable contributions to the subject come from historians who are not members. In consequence, the principal purpose of Commission 41 is to serve as a link between all historians of astronomy whether they be members or not, by initiating research into particular areas, by disseminating new results, or simply by creating possibilities of personal contacts between scholars from different parts of the world. This is mainly achieved by meetings of various kinds.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
The post-pubertal association of female gender with emotional disorder is a robust finding. However, studies exploring the association of gender and emotional disorders before puberty are few and present diverging results. The aim of this study was to present gender-specific incidence rates of emotional disorders throughout childhood.
This is a population-based cohort study of 907 806 Danish 3- to 18-year-olds. The outcome was assignment of an emotional disorder diagnosis based on in-patient and out-patient data from The Danish Psychiatric Central Register. Outcome measures were incidence rates and cumulative incidences for unipolar depressive disorder (ICD-10: F32–F33), anxiety disorders (ICD-10: F40–F42), and emotional disorders with onset specific to childhood (ICD-10: F93).
Pre-pubertal incidence rates for depressive and anxiety disorders were higher for boys than girls. At age 12 years the pattern reversed. The cumulative incidence for any emotional disorder (F32–F33, F40–F42, F93) on the 11th birthday was 0.52% (95% CI 0.50–0.55) for boys and 0.31% (95% CI 0.29–0.33) for girls. On the 19th birthday cumulative incidence was 2.33% (95% CI 2.24–2.43) for boys and 3.77% (95% CI 3.64–3.90) for girls. The pre-pubertal male preponderance was also significant for depressive disorders (F32–F33, p = 0.00144) and anxiety disorders (F40–F42, F93, p < 0.00001) separately.
Emotional disorders seem to display a male preponderance before the age of 12 years and a female preponderance thereafter. Studies exploring this gender–age interaction are needed. Still, the results question the general assumption that females throughout the lifespan are more at risk for emotional disorders than males.
Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin-pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin-pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (P = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1,261), which showed a moderate association for the variant (P = 0.200, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (P = 4.03 × 10−8).
Second-generation immigrants have an increased risk of schizophrenia, a finding that still lacks a satisfactory explanation. Various operational definitions of second-generation immigrants have been used, including foreign parental country of birth. However, with increasing global migration, it is not clear that parental country of birth necessarily is informative with regard to ethnicity. We compare two independently collected measures of parental foreign ethnicity, parental foreign country of birth versus genetic divergence, based on genome-wide genotypic data, to access which measure most efficiently captures the increased risk of schizophrenia among second-generation immigrants residing in Denmark.
A case–control study covering all children born in Denmark since 1981 included 892 cases of schizophrenia and 883 matched controls. Genetic divergence was assessed using principal component analyses of the genotypic data. Independently, parental foreign country of birth was assessed using information recorded prospectively in the Danish Civil Registration System. We compared incidence rate ratios of schizophrenia associated with these two independently collected measures of parental foreign ethnicity.
People with foreign-born parents had a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia [relative risk (RR) 1.94 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.41–2.65)]. Genetically divergent persons also had a significant increased risk [RR 2.43 (95% CI 1.55–3.82)]. Mutual adjustment of parental foreign country of birth and genetic divergence showed no difference between these measures with regard to their potential impact on the results.
In terms of RR of schizophrenia, genetic divergence and parental foreign country of birth are interchangeable entities, and both entities have validity with regard to identifying second-generation immigrants.
Using atomistic simulations we investigate the annihilation of screw dislocation dipoles in Cu. In particular we determine the influence of jogs on the annihilation barrier for screw dislocation dipoles. The simulations involve energy minimizations, molecular dynamics, and the Nudged Elastic Band method. We find that jogs on screw dislocations substantially reduce the annihilation barrier, hence leading to an increase in the minimum stable dipole height.
Physical activity is influenced by genetic factors whose expression may change with age. We employed an extension to the classical twin model that allows a modifier variable, age, to interact with the effects of the latent genetic and environmental factors. The model was applied to self-reported data from twins aged 19 to 50 from seven countries that collaborated in the GenomEUtwin project: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. Results confirmed the importance of genetic influences on physical activity in all countries and showed an age-related decrease in heritability for 4 countries. In the other three countries age did not interact with heritability but those samples were smaller or had a more restricted age range. Effects of shared environment were absent, except in older Swedish participants. The study confirms the importance of taking age effects into account when exploring the genetic and environmental contribution to physical activity. It also suggests that the power of genome-wide association studies to identify the genetic variants contributing to physical activity may be larger in young adult cohorts.
Low birth weight is related to increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in adult life. Since obesity is closely associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the relationship between size at birth and adult anthropometry is of interest as a mediator of the relationship between birth weight and metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine the effect of size at birth and prematurity on measures of adult anthropometry taking adult socio-economic status and lifestyle variables into account. Midwife records with information on mother’s age and parity as well as weight, length and maturity at birth were traced in 4744 Danes born between 1939 and 1970. Measures of adult anthropometry (weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, hip circumference and waist/hip ratio) had previously been recorded together with information on socio-economic factors, lifestyle and parental diabetes status. Mother’s age, parity and diabetes status were associated with offspring birth weight. Size at birth was positively associated with adult height and weight, but only weakly associated with BMI and not associated with waist/hip ratio when adjusted for socio-economic and lifestyle factors. Infants born preterm were less growth restricted at birth and grew to be taller and heavier compared with term infants born small for gestational age. Altogether, this study does not find evidence that obesity or a central fat distribution is mediating the relationship between low birth weight and risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes in later life.
Although many studies have focused on post-myocardial infarction (MI) depression, there is limited information about the evolution and determinants of depressive symptoms in the first year post-MI. Therefore we examined (1) the course of depressive symptoms during the first year post-MI and (2) the predictors of these symptom trajectories.
To assess depressive symptoms, 287 patients completed the Beck Depression Inventory during hospitalization for MI, and 2, and 12 months post-MI. Personality was assessed with the Type-D scale during hospitalization. We used latent class analysis to examine the evolution of depressive symptoms over a 1-year period and multinomial logit regression analyses to examine predictors of these symptom trajectories.
The course of depressive symptoms was stable during the first year post-MI. Four groups were identified and classified as non-depressed [40%, intercept (IC) 2.52], mildly depressed (42%, IC 6.91), moderately depressed (14%, IC 13.73) or severely depressed (4%, IC 24.54). In multivariate analysis, cardiac history (log ORsevere 2.93, p=0.02; log ORmoderate 1.81, p=0.02; log ORmild 1.46, p=0.01), history of depression (log ORsevere 4.40, p<0.001; log ORmoderate 1.97, p=0.03) and Type-D personality (log ORsevere 4.22, p<0.001; log ORmoderate=4.17, p<0.001; log ORmild 1.66, p=0.02) were the most prominent risk factors for persistence of depressive symptoms during the first year post-MI.
Symptoms of depression tend to persist during the first year post-MI. Cardiac history, prior depression and Type-D personality were identified as independent risk factors for persistence of depressive symptoms. The results of this study strongly argue for routine psychological screening during hospitalization for acute MI in order to identify patients who are at risk for chronicity of depressive symptoms and its deleterious effects on prognosis.
Background. Prior studies report high levels of co-morbidity between major depression (MD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and suggest that these disorders are closely related genetically. The personality trait of neuroticism (N) is substantially correlated with risk for MD and GAD.
Method. Bivariate twin models were applied to lifetime diagnoses of modified DSM-IV diagnosis of MD and GAD obtained at personal interview in 1998–2003 with 37296 twins from the population-based Swedish Twin Registry. A trivariate Cholesky model with N, MD and GAD was applied to a subset (23280 members of same-sex twin pairs) who completed a self-report questionnaire assessing N in 1972–1973.
Results. In the best-fit bivariate model, the genetic correlation between MD and GAD was estimated at +1·00 in females and +0·74 in males. Individual-specific environmental factors were also shared between the two disorders with an estimated correlation of +0·59 in males and +0·36 in females. In the best-fit trivariate Cholesky model, genetic factors indexed by N impacted equally on risk for MD and GAD in males and females. However, in both sexes, genetic risk factors indexed by N contributed only around 25% to the genetic correlation between MD and GAD.
Conclusion. Genetic risk factors for lifetime MD and GAD are strongly correlated, with higher correlations in women than in men. Although genetic risk factors indexed by the personality trait of N contribute substantially to risk for both MD and GAD, the majority of genetic covariance between the two disorders results from factors not shared with N.