Published: 10-04-2015 13:52 | Updated: 10-04-2015 15:38

Publication in JAMA Psych: Polygenic Risk Score, Parental Socioeconomic Status, Family History of Psychiatric Disorders, and the Risk for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia has a complex etiology influenced both by genetic and nongenetic factors but disentangling these factors is difficult. This publication had several objectives; to estimate how strongly the risk for schizophrenia relates to the mutual effect of the polygenic risk score, parental socioeconomic status, and family history of psychiatric disorders; the fraction of cases that could be prevented if no one was exposed to these factors; whether family background interacts with an individual’s genetic liability so that specific subgroups are particularly risk prone; and to what extent a proband’s genetic makeup mediates the risk associated with familial background.
The authors, including Professor Patrick Sullivan from this department, conducted a nested case-control study based on Danish population-based registers with 866 patients diagnosed as having schizophrenia between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 2006, and 871 matched control individuals. Genome-wide data and family psychiatric and socioeconomic background information were obtained from neonatal biobanks and national registers. Results from a separate meta-analysis (34 600 cases and 45 968 control individuals) were applied to calculate polygenic risk scores. The conclusions drawn were that schizophrenia was associated with the polygenic risk score, family psychiatric history, and socioeconomic status.