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Genome-wide analysis of self-reported risk-taking behaviour and cross-disorder genetic correlations in the UK Biobank cohort

Strawbridge, Rona J., Ward, Joey, Cullen, Breda, Tunbridge, Elizabeth M., Hartz, Sarah, Bierut, Laura, Horton, Amy, Bailey, Mark E. S., Graham, Nicholas, Ferguson, Amy, Lyall, Donald M., Mackay, Daniel, Pidgeon, Laura M., Cavanagh, Joanathan, Pell, Jill P., O'Donovan, Michael Conlon ORCID:, Escott-Price, Valentina ORCID:, Harrison, Paul J. and Smith, Daniel J. 2018. Genome-wide analysis of self-reported risk-taking behaviour and cross-disorder genetic correlations in the UK Biobank cohort. Translational Psychiatry 8 , 39. 10.1038/s41398-017-0079-1

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Risk-taking behaviour is a key component of several psychiatric disorders and could influence lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use, and diet. As a phenotype, risk-taking behaviour therefore fits within a Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) approach, whereby identifying genetic determinants of this trait has the potential to improve our understanding across different psychiatric disorders. Here we report a genome-wide association study in 116,255 UK Biobank participants who responded yes/no to the question “Would you consider yourself a risk taker?” Risk takers (compared with controls) were more likely to be men, smokers, and have a history of psychiatric disorder. Genetic loci associated with risk-taking behaviour were identified on chromosomes 3 (rs13084531) and 6 (rs9379971). The effects of both lead SNPs were comparable between men and women. The chromosome 3 locus highlights CADM2, previously implicated in cognitive and executive functions, but the chromosome 6 locus is challenging to interpret due to the complexity of the HLA region. Risk-taking behaviour shared significant genetic risk with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as with smoking and total obesity. Despite being based on only a single question, this study furthers our understanding of the biology of risk-taking behaviour, a trait that has a major impact on a range of common physical and mental health disorders.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2158-3188
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 November 2017
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2023 02:39

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