A Polygenic Score for Body Mass Index is Associated with Depressive Symptoms via Early Life Stress: Evidence for Gene-Environment Correlation
Background: Increasing childhood overweight and obesity rates are associated with not only adverse physical, but also mental health outcomes, including depression. These negative outcomes may be caused and/or exacerbated by the bullying and shaming overweight individuals experience. As body mass index (BMI) can be highly heritable, we hypothesized that a genetic risk toward higher BMI, will predict higher early life stress (ELS), which in turn will predict higher depressive symptoms in adulthood. Such a process will reflect an evocative gene-environment correlation (rGE) wherein an individual's genetically influenced phenotype evokes a reaction from the environment that subsequently shapes the individual's health. Methods: We modeled genetic risk using a polygenic score of BMI derived from a recent large GWAS meta-analysis. Self-reports were used for the assessment of ELS and depressive symptoms in adulthood. The discovery sample consisted of 524 non-Hispanic Caucasian university students from the Duke Neurogenetics Study (DNS; 278 women, mean age 19.78 years, SD=1.23) and the independent replication sample consisted of 5,930 white British individuals from the UK biobank (UKB; 3,128 women, mean age 62.6 years, SD=7.38). Results: A significant mediation effect was found in the DNS (indirect effect=.207, bootstrapped SE=.10, 95% CI: .014 to .421), and then replicated in the UKB (indirect effect=.04, bootstrapped SE=.01, 95% CI: .018 to .066). Higher BMI polygenic scores were associated with higher depressive symptoms through the experience of higher ELS. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that evocative rGE may contribute to weight-related mental health problems and stress the need for interventions that aim to reduce weight bias, specifically during childhood.
- Downloaded 398 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 67,619
- In genetics: 3,100
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 109,563
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 111,019
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!