Shared genetic factors of anxiety and depression symptoms in a Brazilian family-based cohort, the Baependi heart study

Tâmara P. Taporoski, André B. Negrão, Andréa R.V.R. Horimoto, Nubia E. Duarte, Rafael O. Alvim, Camila M. De Oliveira, José E. Krieger, Malcolm Von Schantz, Homero Vallada, Alexandre C. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the phenotypic and genetic overlap between anxiety and depression symptoms in an admixed population from extended family pedigrees. Participants (n = 1,375) were recruited from a cohort of 93 families (mean age±SD 42±16.3, 57% female) in the rural town of Baependi, Brazil. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess depression and anxiety symptoms. Heritability estimates were obtained by an adjusted variance component model. Bivariate analyses were performed to obtain the partition of the covariance of anxiety and depression into genetic and environmental components, and to calculate the genetic contribution modulating both sets of symptoms. Anxiety and depression scores were 7.49±4.01 and 5.70±3.82, respectively. Mean scores were affected by age and were significantly higher in women. Heritability for depression and anxiety, corrected for age and sex, were 0.30 and 0.32, respectively. Significant genetic correlations (ρg = 0.81) were found between anxiety and depression scores; thus, nearly 66% of the total genetic variance in one set of symptoms was shared with the other set. Our results provided strong evidence for a genetic overlap between anxiety and depression symptoms, which has relevance for our understanding of the biological basis of these constructs and could be exploited in genome-wide association studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0144255
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

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