Original Research

Behavior Genetics

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 141-150

First online:

Shared and Distinct Genetic Influences Among Different Measures of Pulmonary Function

  • Terrie VasilopoulosAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago Email author 
  • , Michael D. GrantAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Boston University
  • , Carol E. FranzAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
  • , Matthew S. PanizzonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
  • , Hong XianAffiliated withDepartment of Biostatistics, Saint Louis UniversityVA St. Louis Healthcare System
  • , Rosemary ToomeyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Boston University
  • , Michael J. LyonsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Boston University
  • , William S. KremenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of California, San DiegoCenter for Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, VA San Diego Healthcare System
  • , Kristen C. JacobsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago

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Abstract

We examined shared and distinct genetic influences among standard measures of pulmonary functions: ratio of forced expiratory volume at 1 s to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) and percent predicted values for forced expiratory volume at 1 s (FEV1%p), forced expiratory flow (FEFmax%p), and maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV%p) in 978–1,048 middle-aged (mean age = 55 years) male–male twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging. A common latent factor (h2 = 0.30) accounted for the correlations among these measures. This factor accounted for 54–81 % of the heritability of FEV1%p, FEFmax%p and MVV%p, but only explained 16 % of the heritability of FEV1/FVC. The remaining heritability of FEV1/FVC was explained by genetic influences independent of the common factor. Our findings suggest that while a common latent phenotype accounts for the relationships among different pulmonary function measures, the majority of genetic influences underlying FEV1/FVC—an index of pulmonary obstruction—are distinct from those underlying other pulmonary function measures.

Keywords

Lung Heritability Twins Genes Middle-age