Behavior Genetics

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 141–150

Shared and Distinct Genetic Influences Among Different Measures of Pulmonary Function

  • Terrie Vasilopoulos
  • Michael D. Grant
  • Carol E. Franz
  • Matthew S. Panizzon
  • Hong Xian
  • Rosemary Toomey
  • Michael J. Lyons
  • William S. Kremen
  • Kristen C. Jacobson
Original Research


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.


Lung Heritability Twins Genes Middle-age 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terrie Vasilopoulos
    • 1
  • Michael D. Grant
    • 2
  • Carol E. Franz
    • 3
  • Matthew S. Panizzon
    • 3
  • Hong Xian
    • 4
    • 5
  • Rosemary Toomey
    • 2
  • Michael J. Lyons
    • 2
  • William S. Kremen
    • 3
    • 6
  • Kristen C. Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiostatisticsSaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  5. 5.VA St. Louis Healthcare SystemSt. LouisUSA
  6. 6.Center for Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, VA San Diego Healthcare SystemLa JollaUSA

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