Genetic and environmental influences on adult human height across birth cohorts from 1886 to 1994

Aline Jelenkovic, Yoon Mi Hur, Reijo Sund, Yoshie Yokoyama, Sisira H. Siribaddana, Matthew Hotopf, Athula Sumathipala, Fruhling Rijsdijk, Qihua Tan, Dongfeng Zhang, Zengchang Pang, Sari Aaltonen, Kauko Heikkilä, Sevgi Y. Öncel, Fazil Aliev, Esther Rebato, Adam D. Tarnoki, David L. Tarnoki, Kaare Christensen, Axel SkyttheKirsten O. Kyvik, Judy L. Silberg, Lindon J. Eaves, Hermine H. Maes, Tessa L. Cutler, John L. Hopper, Juan R. Ordoñana, Juan F. Sánchez-Romera, Lucia Colodro-Conde, Wendy Cozen, Amie E. Hwang, Thomas M. Mack, Joohon Sung, Yun Mi Song, Sarah Yang, Kayoung Lee, Carol E. Franz, William S. Kremen, Michael J. Lyons, Andreas Busjahn, Tracy L. Nelson, Keith E. Whitfield, Christian Kandler, Kerry L. Jang, Margaret Gatz, David A. Butler, Maria A. Stazi, Corrado Fagnani, Cristina D’Ippolito, Glen E. Duncan, Dedra Buchwald, Catherine A. Derom, Robert F. Vlietinck, Ruth Jf Loos, Nicholas G. Martin, Sarah E. Medland, Grant W. Montgomery, Hoe Uk Jeong, Gary E. Swan, Ruth Krasnow, Patrik Ke Magnusson, Nancy L. Pedersen, Anna K. Dahl-Aslan, Tom A. McAdams, Thalia C. Eley, Alice M. Gregory, Per Tynelius, Laura A. Baker, Catherine Tuvblad, Gombojav Bayasgalan, Danshiitsoodol Narandalai, Paul Lichtenstein, Timothy D. Spector, Massimo Mangino, Genevieve Lachance, Meike Bartels, Toos Cem Van Beijsterveldt, Gonneke Willemsen, S. Alexandra Burt, Kelly L. Klump, Jennifer R. Harris, Ingunn Brandt, Thomas Sevenius Nilsen, Robert F. Krueger, Matt McGue, Shandell Pahlen, Robin P. Corley, Jacob V B Hjelmborg, Jack H. Goldberg, Yoshinori Iwatani, Mikio Watanabe, Chika Honda, Fujio Inui, Finn Rasmussen, Brooke M. Huibregtse, Dorret I. Boomsma, Thorkild I A Sørensen, Jaakko Kaprio, Karri Silventoinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Human height variation is determined by genetic and environmental factors, but it remains unclear whether their influences differ across birth-year cohorts. We conducted an individual-based pooled analysis of 40 twin cohorts including 143,390 complete twin pairs born 1886-1994. Although genetic variance showed a generally increasing trend across the birth-year cohorts, heritability estimates (0.69-0.84 in men and 0.53-0.78 in women) did not present any clear pattern of secular changes. Comparing geographic-cultural regions (Europe, North America and Australia, and East Asia), total height variance was greatest in North America and Australia and lowest in East Asia, but no clear pattern in the heritability estimates across the birth-year cohorts emerged. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that heritability of height is lower in populations with low living standards than in affluent populations, nor that heritability of height will increase within a population as living standards improve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20320
Number of pages1
JournaleLife
Volume5
Issue numberDECEMBER2016
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 14 2016

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    Jelenkovic, A., Hur, Y. M., Sund, R., Yokoyama, Y., Siribaddana, S. H., Hotopf, M., Sumathipala, A., Rijsdijk, F., Tan, Q., Zhang, D., Pang, Z., Aaltonen, S., Heikkilä, K., Öncel, S. Y., Aliev, F., Rebato, E., Tarnoki, A. D., Tarnoki, D. L., Christensen, K., ... Silventoinen, K. (2016). Genetic and environmental influences on adult human height across birth cohorts from 1886 to 1994. eLife, 5(DECEMBER2016), [e20320]. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20320