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Quantile-Specific Heritability may Account for Gene–Environment Interactions Involving Coffee Consumption

Abstract

Estimated heritability of coffee intake ranges from 0.36 to 0.58, however, these point estimates assume that inherited effects are the same throughout the distribution of coffee intake, i.e., whether consumption is high or low relative to intake in the population. Quantile regression of 4788 child–parent pairs and 2380 siblings showed that offspring–parent and sibling concordance became progressively greater with increasing quantiles of coffee intake. Each cup/day increase in the parents’ coffee intake was associated with an offspring increase of 0.020 ± 0.013 cup/day at the 10th percentile of the offsprings’ coffee intake (slope ± SE, NS), 0.137 ± 0.034 cup/day at their 25th percentile (P = 5.2 × 10–5), 0.159 ± 0.029 cup/day at the 50th percentile (P = 5.8 × 10–8), 0.233 ± 0.049 cup/day at the 75th percentile (P = 1.8 × 10–6), and 0.284 ± 0.054 cup/day at the 90th percentile (P = 1.2 × 10–7). This quantile-specific heritability suggests that factors that distinguish heavier vs. lighter drinkers (smoking, male sex) will likely manifest differences in estimated heritability, as reported.

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Acknowledgements

The data were obtained from the National Institutes of Health FRAMCOHORT, GEN3, FRAMOFFSPRING Research Materials obtained from the NHLBI Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center. The author (PTW) was responsible for the project conception, development of overall research plan, analyzing data including performing the statistical analysis, and wrote the paper. The sole author had responsibility for all parts of the manuscript. There are no conflicts of interest to report. The Framingham Heart Study was conducted and supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in collaboration with Boston University (Contract No. N01-HC-25195 and HHSN268201500001I). This manuscript was not prepared in collaboration with investigators of the Framingham Heart Study and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Framingham Heart Study, FRAMCOHORT, GEN3, FRAMOFFSPRING, Boston University, or NHLBI.

Funding

This research was supported by Grant R21ES020700 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and an unrestricted gift from HOKA ONE ONE.

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Correspondence to Paul T. Williams.

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Paul T. Williams declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

These analyses were approved by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Human Subjects Committee (HSC) for protocol “Gene-environment interaction vs quantile-dependent penetrance of established SNPs (107H021)” LBNL holds Office of Human Research Protections Federal wide Assurance number FWA 00006253. Approval number: 107H021-13MR20.

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Williams, P.T. Quantile-Specific Heritability may Account for Gene–Environment Interactions Involving Coffee Consumption. Behav Genet 50, 119–126 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-019-09989-0

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Keywords

  • Coffee
  • Heritability
  • Quantile-specific heritability
  • Quantile-dependent penetrance
  • Smoking
  • Sex differences
  • Gene–environment interactions