CitationKim, Rockli; Lippert, Adam M.; Wedow, Robbee; Jimenez, Marcia P.; & Subramanian, S. V. (2020). The Relative Contribution of Socioeconomic and Genetic Factors to Variation in Body Mass Index among Young Adults. American Journal of Epidemiology. , PMCID: PMC7731990
AbstractIn light of recent findings on the small proportion of variance in body mass index (BMI) explained by shared environment, and growing interests in the role of genetic susceptibility, we assess the relative contribution of socioeconomic status (SES) and genome-wide polygenic score for BMI to explaining variation in BMI. Our final analytic sample included 4,918 white and 1,546 black individuals from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health Wave IV (2007-2008) who had complete measures on BMI, demographics, SES, genetic data, and health behaviors. We employed ordinary least-squares regression to assess variation in log(BMI) as a function of the aforementioned predictors, independently and mutually adjusted. All analyses were stratified by race/ethnicity and further by sex. The age-adjusted variation in log(BMI) was 0.055 among whites and 0.066 among blacks. The contribution of SES and polygenic score ranged from <1%-6% and 2-8%, respectively, and majority of the variation (87-96%) in log(BMI) remained unexplained. Differential distribution of socioeconomic resources, stressors and buffers may interact to produce systematically larger variation in vulnerable populations. Further understanding on the contribution of biological, genetic and environmental factors as well as stochastic elements in diverse phenotypic variance is needed in population health sciences.
Keyword(s)body mass index
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Lippert, Adam M.
Jimenez, Marcia P.
Subramanian, S. V.