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Reproductive fitness and genetic risk of psychiatric disorders in the general population

Reproductive fitness and genetic risk of psychiatric disorders in the general population

Title: Reproductive fitness and genetic risk of psychiatric disorders in the general population
Author: Mullins, Niamh
Ingason, Andrés
Porter, Heather
Euesden, Jack
Gillett, Alexandra
Ólafsson, Sigurgeir   orcid.org/0000-0003-1711-2757
Gudbjartsson, Daniel
Lewis, Cathryn M.
Sigurdsson, Engilbert
Sæmundsen, Evald E.
... 8 more authors Show all authors
Date: 2017-06-13
Language: English
Scope: 15833
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Félagsvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Social Sciences (UI)
Department: Læknadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Medicine (UI)
Félags- og mannvísindadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UI)
Series: Nature Communications;8
ISSN: 2041-1723
DOI: doi:10.1038/ncomms15833
Subject: Autism spectrum disorders; Evolutionary biology; Genetic association study; Einhverfa; Félagslíffræði; Erfðafræði; Rannsóknir
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/319

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Mullins, N. et al. Reproductive fitness and genetic risk for psychiatric disorders in the general population. Nat. Commun. 8, 15833 doi: 10.1038/ncomms15833 (2017).


The persistence of common, heritable psychiatric disorders that reduce reproductive fitness is an evolutionary paradox. Here, we investigate the selection pressures on sequence variants that predispose to schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, major depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using genomic data from 150,656 Icelanders, excluding those diagnosed with these psychiatric diseases. Polygenic risk of autism and ADHD is associated with number of children. Higher polygenic risk of autism is associated with fewer children and older age at first child whereas higher polygenic risk of ADHD is associated with having more children. We find no evidence for a selective advantage of a high polygenic risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Rare copy-number variants conferring moderate to high risk of psychiatric illness are associated with having fewer children and are under stronger negative selection pressure than common sequence variants.


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