Jelenkovic A, Sund R, Hur YM, Yokoyama Y, Hjelmborg JV, Möller S, Honda C, Magnusson PK, Pedersen NL, Ooki S, Aaltonen S, Stazi MA, Fagnani C, D'Ippolito C, Freitas DL, Maia JA, Ji F, Ning F, Pang Z, Rebato E, Busjahn A, Kandler C, Saudino KJ, Jang KL, Cozen W, Hwang AE, Mack TM, Gao W, Yu C, Li L, Corley RP, Huibregtse BM, Derom CA, Vlietinck RF, Loos RJ, Heikkilä K, Wardle J, Llewellyn CH, Fisher A, McAdams TA, Eley TC, Gregory AM, He M, Ding X, Bjerregaard-Andersen M, Beck-Nielsen H, Sodemann M, Tarnoki AD, Tarnoki DL, Knafo-Noam A, Mankuta D, Abramson L, Burt SA, Klump KL, Silberg JL, Eaves LJ, Maes HH, Krueger RF, McGue M, Pahlen S, Gatz M, Butler DA, Bartels M, van Beijsterveldt TC, Craig JM, Saffery R, Dubois L, Boivin M, Brendgen M, Dionne G, Vitaro F, Martin NG, Medland SE, Montgomery GW, Swan GE, Krasnow R, Tynelius P, Lichtenstein P, Haworth CM, Plomin R, Bayasgalan G, Narandalai D, Harden KP, Tucker-Drob EM, Spector T, Mangino M, Lachance G, Baker LA, Tuvblad C, Duncan GE, Buchwald D, Willemsen G, Skytthe A, Kyvik KO, Christensen K, Öncel SY, Aliev F, Rasmussen F, Goldberg JH, Sørensen TI, Boomsma DI, Kaprio J, Silventoinen K
Sci Rep 6 (-) 28496 [2016-06-23; online 2016-06-23]
Height variation is known to be determined by both genetic and environmental factors, but a systematic description of how their influences differ by sex, age and global regions is lacking. We conducted an individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts from 20 countries, including 180,520 paired measurements at ages 1-19 years. The proportion of height variation explained by shared environmental factors was greatest in early childhood, but these effects remained present until early adulthood. Accordingly, the relative genetic contribution increased with age and was greatest in adolescence (up to 0.83 in boys and 0.76 in girls). Comparing geographic-cultural regions (Europe, North-America and Australia, and East-Asia), genetic variance was greatest in North-America and Australia and lowest in East-Asia, but the relative proportion of genetic variation was roughly similar across these regions. Our findings provide further insights into height variation during childhood and adolescence in populations representing different ethnicities and exposed to different environments.