Heritability of head size in Dutch and Australian twin families at ages 0-50 years

Smit, Dirk J. A., Luciano, Michelle, Bartels, Meike, van Beijsterveldt, Catharine E. M., Wright, Margaret J., Hansell, Narelle K., Brunner, Han G., Estourgie-van Burk, G. Frederiek, de Geus, Eco J. C., Martin, Nicholas G. and Boomsma, Dorret I. (2010) Heritability of head size in Dutch and Australian twin families at ages 0-50 years. Twin Research And Human Genetics, 13 4: 370-380. doi:10.1375/twin.13.4.370

Author Smit, Dirk J. A.
Luciano, Michelle
Bartels, Meike
van Beijsterveldt, Catharine E. M.
Wright, Margaret J.
Hansell, Narelle K.
Brunner, Han G.
Estourgie-van Burk, G. Frederiek
de Geus, Eco J. C.
Martin, Nicholas G.
Boomsma, Dorret I.
Title Heritability of head size in Dutch and Australian twin families at ages 0-50 years
Journal name Twin Research And Human Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1832-4274
Publication date 2010-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1375/twin.13.4.370
Volume 13
Issue 4
Start page 370
End page 380
Total pages 11
Place of publication Bowen Hills, QLD, Australia
Publisher Australian Academic Press
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract We assessed the heritability of head circumference, an approximation of brain size, in twin-sib families of different ages. Data from the youngest participants were collected a few weeks after birth and from the oldest participants around age 50 years. In nearly all age groups the largest part of the variation in head circumference was explained by genetic differences. Heritability estimates were 90% in young infants (4 to 5 months), 85–88% in early childhood, 83–87% in adolescence, 75% in young and mid adulthood. In infants younger than 3 months, heritability was very low or absent. Quantitative sex differences in heritability were observed in 15- and 18-year-olds, but there was no evidence for qualitative sex differences, that is, the same genes were expressed in both males and females. Longitudinal analysis of the data between 5, 7, and 18 years of age showed high genetic stability (.78 > RG > .98). These results indicate that head circumference is a highly heritable biometric trait and a valid target for future GWA studies. Copyright © Australian Academic Press 2011 All Rights Reserved.
Keyword Twin study
Brain size
Head circumference
Infant growth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 20 Mar 2011, 00:00:48 EST