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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 May;27(5):855-865. doi: 10.1002/oby.22451. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Parental Education and Genetics of BMI from Infancy to Old Age: A Pooled Analysis of 29 Twin Cohorts.

Author information

1
Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
2
Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
3
Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain.
4
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
5
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki, Finland.
6
Department of Public Health Nursing, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.
7
Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
8
Department of Psychology, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan.
9
Center for Forensic Mental Health, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.
10
Institute for Education and Human Development, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo.
11
Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal.
12
Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
13
Department of Statistics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey.
14
Departments of Psychology and African American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
15
Department of Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention, Qingdao Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingdao, China.
16
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
17
The Australian Twin Registry, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
18
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
19
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
20
Pediatric Allergy and Pulmonology Unit, Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
21
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
22
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
23
Netherlands Twin Register, Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
24
Department of Health and Exercise Sciences, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
25
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
26
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
27
Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London, London, UK.
28
Center for Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Higher Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.
29
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
30
School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
31
Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
32
Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
33
Center of Human Genetics, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
34
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ghent University Hospitals, Ghent, Belgium.
35
The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.
36
Psychology Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
37
Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hadassah Hospital, Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
38
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
39
Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
40
Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
41
Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
42
Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
43
Center for Economic and Social Research, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
44
Health and Medicine Division, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.
45
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
46
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
47
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.
48
VA San Diego Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, La Jolla, California, USA.
49
Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
50
Department of Education, Mokpo National University, Jeonnam, South Korea.
51
Section of Metabolic Genetics, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
52
Section of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to analyze how parental education modifies the genetic and environmental variances of BMI from infancy to old age in three geographic-cultural regions.

METHODS:

A pooled sample of 29 cohorts including 143,499 twin individuals with information on parental education and BMI from age 1 to 79 years (299,201 BMI measures) was analyzed by genetic twin modeling.

RESULTS:

Until 4 years of age, parental education was not consistently associated with BMI. Thereafter, higher parental education level was associated with lower BMI in males and females. Total and additive genetic variances of BMI were smaller in the offspring of highly educated parents than in those whose parents had low education levels. Especially in North American and Australian children, environmental factors shared by co-twins also contributed to the higher BMI variation in the low education level category. In Europe and East Asia, the associations of parental education with mean BMI and BMI variance were weaker than in North America and Australia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower parental education level is associated with higher mean BMI and larger genetic variance of BMI after early childhood, especially in the obesogenic macro-environment. The interplay among genetic predisposition, childhood social environment, and macro-social context is important for socioeconomic differences in BMI.

PMID:
30950584
PMCID:
PMC6478550
[Available on 2019-10-05]
DOI:
10.1002/oby.22451

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