Publications

Comparative genome-wide association studies of a depressive symptom phenotype in a repeated measures setting by race/ethnicity in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

Background: Time-varying phenotypes have been studied less frequently in the context of genome-wide analyses across ethnicities, particularly for mood disorders. This study uses genome-wide association studies of depressive symptoms in a longitudinal framework and across multiple ethnicities to find common variants for depressive symptoms. Ethnicity-specific GWAS for depressive symptoms were conducted using three approaches: a baseline measure, longitudinal measures averaged over time, and a repeated measures analysis. We then used meta-analysis to jointly analyze the results across ethnicities within the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA, n = 6,335), and then within ethnicity, across MESA and a sample from the Health and Retirement Study African-and European-Americans (HRS, n = 10,163). Methods: This study uses genome-wide association studies of depressive symptoms in a longitudinal framework and across multiple ethnicities to find common variants for depressive symptoms. Ethnicity-specific GWAS for depressive symptoms were conducted using three approaches: a baseline measure, longitudinal measures averaged over time, and a repeated measures analysis. We then used meta-analysis to jointly analyze the results across ethnicities within the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA, n = 6,335), and then within ethnicity, across MESA and a sample from the Health and Retirement Study African-and European-Americans (HRS, n = 10,163). Results: Several novel variants were identified at the genome-wide suggestive level (5×10(-8) < p-value = 5×10(-6)) in each ethnicity for each approach to analyzing depressive symptoms. The repeated measures analyses resulted in typically smaller p-values and an increase in the number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) reaching genome-wide suggestive level. Conclusions: For phenotypes that vary over time, the detection of genetic predictors may be enhanced by repeated measures analyses.