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Nat Genet. 2018 Sep;50(9):1304-1310. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0178-9. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Relatedness disequilibrium regression estimates heritability without environmental bias.

Author information

1
deCODE genetics/Amgen Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland. alexander.young@bdi.ox.ac.uk.
2
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. alexander.young@bdi.ox.ac.uk.
3
Big Data Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. alexander.young@bdi.ox.ac.uk.
4
deCODE genetics/Amgen Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland.
5
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
6
Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
7
deCODE genetics/Amgen Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland. augustine.kong@bdi.ox.ac.uk.
8
Big Data Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. augustine.kong@bdi.ox.ac.uk.
9
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland. augustine.kong@bdi.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

Heritability measures the proportion of trait variation that is due to genetic inheritance. Measurement of heritability is important in the nature-versus-nurture debate. However, existing estimates of heritability may be biased by environmental effects. Here, we introduce relatedness disequilibrium regression (RDR), a novel method for estimating heritability. RDR avoids most sources of environmental bias by exploiting variation in relatedness due to random Mendelian segregation. We used a sample of 54,888 Icelanders who had both parents genotyped to estimate the heritability of 14 traits, including height (55.4%, s.e. 4.4%) and educational attainment (17.0%, s.e. 9.4%). Our results suggest that some other estimates of heritability may be inflated by environmental effects.

PMID:
30104764
PMCID:
PMC6130754
[Available on 2019-02-13]
DOI:
10.1038/s41588-018-0178-9

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