The CODATwins Project: The Cohort Description of Collaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins to Study Macro-Environmental Variation in Genetic and Environmental Effects on Anthropometric Traits

Karri Silventoinen, Aline Jelenkovic, Reijo Sund, Chika Honda, Sari Aaltonen, Yoshie Yokoyama, Adam D Tarnoki, David L Tarnoki, Feng Ning, Fuling Ji, Zengchang Pang, Juan R Ordoñana, Juan F Sánchez-Romera, Lucia Colodro-Conde, S Alexandra Burt, Kelly L Klump, Sarah E Medland, Grant W Montgomery, Christian Kandler, Tom A McAdamsThalia C Eley, Alice M Gregory, Kimberly J Saudino, Lise Dubois, Michel Boivin, Claire M A Haworth, Robert Plomin, Sevgi Y Öncel, Fazil Aliev, Maria A Stazi, Corrado Fagnani, Cristina D'Ippolito, Jeffrey M Craig, Richard Saffery, Sisira H Siribaddana, Matthew Hotopf, Athula Sumathipala, Timothy Spector, Massimo Mangino, Genevieve Lachance, Margaret Gatz, David A Butler, Gombojav Bayasgalan, Danshiitsoodol Narandalai, Duarte L Freitas, José Antonio Maia, K Paige Harden, Elliot M Tucker-Drob, Kaare Christensen, Axel Skytthe, Kirsten O Kyvik, Changhee Hong, Youngsook Chong, Catherine A Derom, Robert F Vlietinck, Ruth J F Loos, Wendy Cozen, Amie E Hwang, Thomas M Mack, Mingguang He, Xiaohu Ding, Billy Chang, Judy L Silberg, Lindon J Eaves, Hermine H Maes, Tessa L Cutler, John L Hopper, Kelly Aujard, Patrik K E Magnusson, Nancy L Pedersen, Anna K Dahl Aslan, Yun-Mi Song, Sarah Yang, Kayoung Lee, Laura A Baker, Catherine Tuvblad, Morten Bjerregaard-Andersen, Henning Beck-Nielsen, Morten Sodemann, Kauko Heikkilä, Qihua Tan, Dongfeng Zhang, Gary E Swan, Ruth Krasnow, Kerry L Jang, Ariel Knafo-Noam, David Mankuta, Lior Abramson, Paul Lichtenstein, Robert F Krueger, Matt McGue, Shandell Pahlen, Per Tynelius, Glen E Duncan, Dedra Buchwald, Robin P Corley, Brooke M Huibregtse, Tracy L Nelson, Keith E Whitfield, Carol E Franz, William S Kremen, Michael J Lyons, Syuichi Ooki, Ingunn Brandt, Thomas Sevenius Nilsen, Fujio Inui, Mikio Watanabe, Meike Bartels, Toos C E M van Beijsterveldt, Jane Wardle, Clare H Llewellyn, Abigail Fisher, Esther Rebato, Nicholas G Martin, Yoshinori Iwatani, Kazuo Hayakawa, Finn Rasmussen, Joohon Sung, Jennifer R Harris, Gonneke Willemsen, Andreas Busjahn, Jack H Goldberg, Dorret I Boomsma, Yoon-Mi Hur, Thorkild I A Sørensen, Jaakko Kaprio

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Volume18
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)348-360
ISSN1832-4274
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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Twin Studies
Smoking
Education
Dizygotic Twins
Weights and Measures
Genetic Research
Monozygotic Twins
Medical Genetics
Research
Body Mass Index
Population

Keywords

  • BMI
  • height
  • heritability
  • international comparisons
  • twins

Cite this

Silventoinen, Karri ; Jelenkovic, Aline ; Sund, Reijo ; Honda, Chika ; Aaltonen, Sari ; Yokoyama, Yoshie ; Tarnoki, Adam D ; Tarnoki, David L ; Ning, Feng ; Ji, Fuling ; Pang, Zengchang ; Ordoñana, Juan R ; Sánchez-Romera, Juan F ; Colodro-Conde, Lucia ; Burt, S Alexandra ; Klump, Kelly L ; Medland, Sarah E ; Montgomery, Grant W ; Kandler, Christian ; McAdams, Tom A ; Eley, Thalia C ; Gregory, Alice M ; Saudino, Kimberly J ; Dubois, Lise ; Boivin, Michel ; Haworth, Claire M A ; Plomin, Robert ; Öncel, Sevgi Y ; Aliev, Fazil ; Stazi, Maria A ; Fagnani, Corrado ; D'Ippolito, Cristina ; Craig, Jeffrey M ; Saffery, Richard ; Siribaddana, Sisira H ; Hotopf, Matthew ; Sumathipala, Athula ; Spector, Timothy ; Mangino, Massimo ; Lachance, Genevieve ; Gatz, Margaret ; Butler, David A ; Bayasgalan, Gombojav ; Narandalai, Danshiitsoodol ; Freitas, Duarte L ; Maia, José Antonio ; Harden, K Paige ; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M ; Christensen, Kaare ; Skytthe, Axel ; Kyvik, Kirsten O ; Hong, Changhee ; Chong, Youngsook ; Derom, Catherine A ; Vlietinck, Robert F ; Loos, Ruth J F ; Cozen, Wendy ; Hwang, Amie E ; Mack, Thomas M ; He, Mingguang ; Ding, Xiaohu ; Chang, Billy ; Silberg, Judy L ; Eaves, Lindon J ; Maes, Hermine H ; Cutler, Tessa L ; Hopper, John L ; Aujard, Kelly ; Magnusson, Patrik K E ; Pedersen, Nancy L ; Aslan, Anna K Dahl ; Song, Yun-Mi ; Yang, Sarah ; Lee, Kayoung ; Baker, Laura A ; Tuvblad, Catherine ; Bjerregaard-Andersen, Morten ; Beck-Nielsen, Henning ; Sodemann, Morten ; Heikkilä, Kauko ; Tan, Qihua ; Zhang, Dongfeng ; Swan, Gary E ; Krasnow, Ruth ; Jang, Kerry L ; Knafo-Noam, Ariel ; Mankuta, David ; Abramson, Lior ; Lichtenstein, Paul ; Krueger, Robert F ; McGue, Matt ; Pahlen, Shandell ; Tynelius, Per ; Duncan, Glen E ; Buchwald, Dedra ; Corley, Robin P ; Huibregtse, Brooke M ; Nelson, Tracy L ; Whitfield, Keith E ; Franz, Carol E ; Kremen, William S ; Lyons, Michael J ; Ooki, Syuichi ; Brandt, Ingunn ; Nilsen, Thomas Sevenius ; Inui, Fujio ; Watanabe, Mikio ; Bartels, Meike ; van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M ; Wardle, Jane ; Llewellyn, Clare H ; Fisher, Abigail ; Rebato, Esther ; Martin, Nicholas G ; Iwatani, Yoshinori ; Hayakawa, Kazuo ; Rasmussen, Finn ; Sung, Joohon ; Harris, Jennifer R ; Willemsen, Gonneke ; Busjahn, Andreas ; Goldberg, Jack H ; Boomsma, Dorret I ; Hur, Yoon-Mi ; Sørensen, Thorkild I A ; Kaprio, Jaakko. / The CODATwins Project : The Cohort Description of Collaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins to Study Macro-Environmental Variation in Genetic and Environmental Effects on Anthropometric Traits. In: Twin Research and Human Genetics. 2015 ; Vol. 18, No. 4. pp. 348-360.
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abstract = "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.",
keywords = "BMI, height, heritability, international comparisons, twins",
author = "Karri Silventoinen and Aline Jelenkovic and Reijo Sund and Chika Honda and Sari Aaltonen and Yoshie Yokoyama and Tarnoki, {Adam D} and Tarnoki, {David L} and Feng Ning and Fuling Ji and Zengchang Pang and Ordo{\~n}ana, {Juan R} and S{\'a}nchez-Romera, {Juan F} and Lucia Colodro-Conde and Burt, {S Alexandra} and Klump, {Kelly L} and Medland, {Sarah E} and Montgomery, {Grant W} and Christian Kandler and McAdams, {Tom A} and Eley, {Thalia C} and Gregory, {Alice M} and Saudino, {Kimberly J} and Lise Dubois and Michel Boivin and Haworth, {Claire M A} and Robert Plomin and {\"O}ncel, {Sevgi Y} and Fazil Aliev and Stazi, {Maria A} and Corrado Fagnani and Cristina D'Ippolito and Craig, {Jeffrey M} and Richard Saffery and Siribaddana, {Sisira H} and Matthew Hotopf and Athula Sumathipala and Timothy Spector and Massimo Mangino and Genevieve Lachance and Margaret Gatz and Butler, {David A} and Gombojav Bayasgalan and Danshiitsoodol Narandalai and Freitas, {Duarte L} and Maia, {Jos{\'e} Antonio} and Harden, {K Paige} and Tucker-Drob, {Elliot M} and Kaare Christensen and Axel Skytthe and Kyvik, {Kirsten O} and Changhee Hong and Youngsook Chong and Derom, {Catherine A} and Vlietinck, {Robert F} and Loos, {Ruth J F} and Wendy Cozen and Hwang, {Amie E} and Mack, {Thomas M} and Mingguang He and Xiaohu Ding and Billy Chang and Silberg, {Judy L} and Eaves, {Lindon J} and Maes, {Hermine H} and Cutler, {Tessa L} and Hopper, {John L} and Kelly Aujard and Magnusson, {Patrik K E} and Pedersen, {Nancy L} and Aslan, {Anna K Dahl} and Yun-Mi Song and Sarah Yang and Kayoung Lee and Baker, {Laura A} and Catherine Tuvblad and Morten Bjerregaard-Andersen and Henning Beck-Nielsen and Morten Sodemann and Kauko Heikkil{\"a} and Qihua Tan and Dongfeng Zhang and Swan, {Gary E} and Ruth Krasnow and Jang, {Kerry L} and Ariel Knafo-Noam and David Mankuta and Lior Abramson and Paul Lichtenstein and Krueger, {Robert F} and Matt McGue and Shandell Pahlen and Per Tynelius and Duncan, {Glen E} and Dedra Buchwald and Corley, {Robin P} and Huibregtse, {Brooke M} and Nelson, {Tracy L} and Whitfield, {Keith E} and Franz, {Carol E} and Kremen, {William S} and Lyons, {Michael J} and Syuichi Ooki and Ingunn Brandt and Nilsen, {Thomas Sevenius} and Fujio Inui and Mikio Watanabe and Meike Bartels and {van Beijsterveldt}, {Toos C E M} and Jane Wardle and Llewellyn, {Clare H} and Abigail Fisher and Esther Rebato and Martin, {Nicholas G} and Yoshinori Iwatani and Kazuo Hayakawa and Finn Rasmussen and Joohon Sung and Harris, {Jennifer R} and Gonneke Willemsen and Andreas Busjahn and Goldberg, {Jack H} and Boomsma, {Dorret I} and Yoon-Mi Hur and S{\o}rensen, {Thorkild I A} and Jaakko Kaprio",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1017/thg.2015.29",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "348--360",
journal = "Twin Research and Human Genetics",
issn = "1832-4274",
publisher = "Heinemann",
number = "4",

}

Silventoinen, K, Jelenkovic, A, Sund, R, Honda, C, Aaltonen, S, Yokoyama, Y, Tarnoki, AD, Tarnoki, DL, Ning, F, Ji, F, Pang, Z, Ordoñana, JR, Sánchez-Romera, JF, Colodro-Conde, L, Burt, SA, Klump, KL, Medland, SE, Montgomery, GW, Kandler, C, McAdams, TA, Eley, TC, Gregory, AM, Saudino, KJ, Dubois, L, Boivin, M, Haworth, CMA, Plomin, R, Öncel, SY, Aliev, F, Stazi, MA, Fagnani, C, D'Ippolito, C, Craig, JM, Saffery, R, Siribaddana, SH, Hotopf, M, Sumathipala, A, Spector, T, Mangino, M, Lachance, G, Gatz, M, Butler, DA, Bayasgalan, G, Narandalai, D, Freitas, DL, Maia, JA, Harden, KP, Tucker-Drob, EM, Christensen, K, Skytthe, A, Kyvik, KO, Hong, C, Chong, Y, Derom, CA, Vlietinck, RF, Loos, RJF, Cozen, W, Hwang, AE, Mack, TM, He, M, Ding, X, Chang, B, Silberg, JL, Eaves, LJ, Maes, HH, Cutler, TL, Hopper, JL, Aujard, K, Magnusson, PKE, Pedersen, NL, Aslan, AKD, Song, Y-M, Yang, S, Lee, K, Baker, LA, Tuvblad, C, Bjerregaard-Andersen, M, Beck-Nielsen, H, Sodemann, M, Heikkilä, K, Tan, Q, Zhang, D, Swan, GE, Krasnow, R, Jang, KL, Knafo-Noam, A, Mankuta, D, Abramson, L, Lichtenstein, P, Krueger, RF, McGue, M, Pahlen, S, Tynelius, P, Duncan, GE, Buchwald, D, Corley, RP, Huibregtse, BM, Nelson, TL, Whitfield, KE, Franz, CE, Kremen, WS, Lyons, MJ, Ooki, S, Brandt, I, Nilsen, TS, Inui, F, Watanabe, M, Bartels, M, van Beijsterveldt, TCEM, Wardle, J, Llewellyn, CH, Fisher, A, Rebato, E, Martin, NG, Iwatani, Y, Hayakawa, K, Rasmussen, F, Sung, J, Harris, JR, Willemsen, G, Busjahn, A, Goldberg, JH, Boomsma, DI, Hur, Y-M, Sørensen, TIA & Kaprio, J 2015, 'The CODATwins Project: The Cohort Description of Collaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins to Study Macro-Environmental Variation in Genetic and Environmental Effects on Anthropometric Traits', Twin Research and Human Genetics, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 348-360. https://doi.org/10.1017/thg.2015.29

The CODATwins Project : The Cohort Description of Collaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins to Study Macro-Environmental Variation in Genetic and Environmental Effects on Anthropometric Traits. / Silventoinen, Karri; Jelenkovic, Aline; Sund, Reijo; Honda, Chika; Aaltonen, Sari; Yokoyama, Yoshie; Tarnoki, Adam D; Tarnoki, David L; Ning, Feng; Ji, Fuling; Pang, Zengchang; Ordoñana, Juan R; Sánchez-Romera, Juan F; Colodro-Conde, Lucia; Burt, S Alexandra; Klump, Kelly L; Medland, Sarah E; Montgomery, Grant W; Kandler, Christian; McAdams, Tom A; Eley, Thalia C; Gregory, Alice M; Saudino, Kimberly J; Dubois, Lise; Boivin, Michel; Haworth, Claire M A; Plomin, Robert; Öncel, Sevgi Y; Aliev, Fazil; Stazi, Maria A; Fagnani, Corrado; D'Ippolito, Cristina; Craig, Jeffrey M; Saffery, Richard; Siribaddana, Sisira H; Hotopf, Matthew; Sumathipala, Athula; Spector, Timothy; Mangino, Massimo; Lachance, Genevieve; Gatz, Margaret; Butler, David A; Bayasgalan, Gombojav; Narandalai, Danshiitsoodol; Freitas, Duarte L; Maia, José Antonio; Harden, K Paige; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M; Christensen, Kaare; Skytthe, Axel; Kyvik, Kirsten O; Hong, Changhee; Chong, Youngsook; Derom, Catherine A; Vlietinck, Robert F; Loos, Ruth J F; Cozen, Wendy; Hwang, Amie E; Mack, Thomas M; He, Mingguang; Ding, Xiaohu; Chang, Billy; Silberg, Judy L; Eaves, Lindon J; Maes, Hermine H; Cutler, Tessa L; Hopper, John L; Aujard, Kelly; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Pedersen, Nancy L; Aslan, Anna K Dahl; Song, Yun-Mi; Yang, Sarah; Lee, Kayoung; Baker, Laura A; Tuvblad, Catherine; Bjerregaard-Andersen, Morten; Beck-Nielsen, Henning; Sodemann, Morten; Heikkilä, Kauko; Tan, Qihua; Zhang, Dongfeng; Swan, Gary E; Krasnow, Ruth; Jang, Kerry L; Knafo-Noam, Ariel; Mankuta, David; Abramson, Lior; Lichtenstein, Paul; Krueger, Robert F; McGue, Matt; Pahlen, Shandell; Tynelius, Per; Duncan, Glen E; Buchwald, Dedra; Corley, Robin P; Huibregtse, Brooke M; Nelson, Tracy L; Whitfield, Keith E; Franz, Carol E; Kremen, William S; Lyons, Michael J; Ooki, Syuichi; Brandt, Ingunn; Nilsen, Thomas Sevenius; Inui, Fujio; Watanabe, Mikio; Bartels, Meike; van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M; Wardle, Jane; Llewellyn, Clare H; Fisher, Abigail; Rebato, Esther; Martin, Nicholas G; Iwatani, Yoshinori; Hayakawa, Kazuo; Rasmussen, Finn; Sung, Joohon; Harris, Jennifer R; Willemsen, Gonneke; Busjahn, Andreas; Goldberg, Jack H; Boomsma, Dorret I; Hur, Yoon-Mi; Sørensen, Thorkild I A; Kaprio, Jaakko.

In: Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 18, No. 4, 08.2015, p. 348-360.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The CODATwins Project

T2 - The Cohort Description of Collaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins to Study Macro-Environmental Variation in Genetic and Environmental Effects on Anthropometric Traits

AU - Silventoinen, Karri

AU - Jelenkovic, Aline

AU - Sund, Reijo

AU - Honda, Chika

AU - Aaltonen, Sari

AU - Yokoyama, Yoshie

AU - Tarnoki, Adam D

AU - Tarnoki, David L

AU - Ning, Feng

AU - Ji, Fuling

AU - Pang, Zengchang

AU - Ordoñana, Juan R

AU - Sánchez-Romera, Juan F

AU - Colodro-Conde, Lucia

AU - Burt, S Alexandra

AU - Klump, Kelly L

AU - Medland, Sarah E

AU - Montgomery, Grant W

AU - Kandler, Christian

AU - McAdams, Tom A

AU - Eley, Thalia C

AU - Gregory, Alice M

AU - Saudino, Kimberly J

AU - Dubois, Lise

AU - Boivin, Michel

AU - Haworth, Claire M A

AU - Plomin, Robert

AU - Öncel, Sevgi Y

AU - Aliev, Fazil

AU - Stazi, Maria A

AU - Fagnani, Corrado

AU - D'Ippolito, Cristina

AU - Craig, Jeffrey M

AU - Saffery, Richard

AU - Siribaddana, Sisira H

AU - Hotopf, Matthew

AU - Sumathipala, Athula

AU - Spector, Timothy

AU - Mangino, Massimo

AU - Lachance, Genevieve

AU - Gatz, Margaret

AU - Butler, David A

AU - Bayasgalan, Gombojav

AU - Narandalai, Danshiitsoodol

AU - Freitas, Duarte L

AU - Maia, José Antonio

AU - Harden, K Paige

AU - Tucker-Drob, Elliot M

AU - Christensen, Kaare

AU - Skytthe, Axel

AU - Kyvik, Kirsten O

AU - Hong, Changhee

AU - Chong, Youngsook

AU - Derom, Catherine A

AU - Vlietinck, Robert F

AU - Loos, Ruth J F

AU - Cozen, Wendy

AU - Hwang, Amie E

AU - Mack, Thomas M

AU - He, Mingguang

AU - Ding, Xiaohu

AU - Chang, Billy

AU - Silberg, Judy L

AU - Eaves, Lindon J

AU - Maes, Hermine H

AU - Cutler, Tessa L

AU - Hopper, John L

AU - Aujard, Kelly

AU - Magnusson, Patrik K E

AU - Pedersen, Nancy L

AU - Aslan, Anna K Dahl

AU - Song, Yun-Mi

AU - Yang, Sarah

AU - Lee, Kayoung

AU - Baker, Laura A

AU - Tuvblad, Catherine

AU - Bjerregaard-Andersen, Morten

AU - Beck-Nielsen, Henning

AU - Sodemann, Morten

AU - Heikkilä, Kauko

AU - Tan, Qihua

AU - Zhang, Dongfeng

AU - Swan, Gary E

AU - Krasnow, Ruth

AU - Jang, Kerry L

AU - Knafo-Noam, Ariel

AU - Mankuta, David

AU - Abramson, Lior

AU - Lichtenstein, Paul

AU - Krueger, Robert F

AU - McGue, Matt

AU - Pahlen, Shandell

AU - Tynelius, Per

AU - Duncan, Glen E

AU - Buchwald, Dedra

AU - Corley, Robin P

AU - Huibregtse, Brooke M

AU - Nelson, Tracy L

AU - Whitfield, Keith E

AU - Franz, Carol E

AU - Kremen, William S

AU - Lyons, Michael J

AU - Ooki, Syuichi

AU - Brandt, Ingunn

AU - Nilsen, Thomas Sevenius

AU - Inui, Fujio

AU - Watanabe, Mikio

AU - Bartels, Meike

AU - van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M

AU - Wardle, Jane

AU - Llewellyn, Clare H

AU - Fisher, Abigail

AU - Rebato, Esther

AU - Martin, Nicholas G

AU - Iwatani, Yoshinori

AU - Hayakawa, Kazuo

AU - Rasmussen, Finn

AU - Sung, Joohon

AU - Harris, Jennifer R

AU - Willemsen, Gonneke

AU - Busjahn, Andreas

AU - Goldberg, Jack H

AU - Boomsma, Dorret I

AU - Hur, Yoon-Mi

AU - Sørensen, Thorkild I A

AU - Kaprio, Jaakko

PY - 2015/8

Y1 - 2015/8

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - BMI

KW - height

KW - heritability

KW - international comparisons

KW - twins

U2 - 10.1017/thg.2015.29

DO - 10.1017/thg.2015.29

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 26014041

VL - 18

SP - 348

EP - 360

JO - Twin Research and Human Genetics

JF - Twin Research and Human Genetics

SN - 1832-4274

IS - 4

ER -