A putative causal relationship between genetically determined female body shape and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The nature and underlying mechanisms of the observed increased vulnerability to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women are unclear. METHODS: We investigated the genetic overlap of PTSD with anthropometric traits and reproductive behaviors and functions in women. The analysis was conducted using female-specific summary statistics from large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and a cohort of 3577 European American women (966 PTSD cases and 2611 trauma-exposed controls). We applied a high-resolution polygenic score approach and Mendelian randomization analysis to investigate genetic correlations and causal relationships. RESULTS: We observed an inverse association of PTSD with genetically determined anthropometric traits related to body shape, independent of body mass index (BMI). The top association was related to BMI-adjusted waist circumference (WCadj; R = -0.079, P < 0.001, Q = 0.011). We estimated a relative decrease of 64.6% (95% confidence interval = 27.5-82.7) in the risk of PTSD per 1-SD increase in WCadj. MR-Egger regression intercept analysis showed no evidence of pleiotropic effects in this association (Ppleiotropy = 0.979). We also observed associations of genetically determined WCadj with age at first sexual intercourse and number of sexual partners (P = 0.013 and P < 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: There is a putative causal relationship between genetically determined female body shape and PTSD, which could be mediated by evolutionary mechanisms involved in human sexual behaviors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Polimanti, R; Amstadter, AB; Stein, MB; Almli, LM; Baker, DG; Bierut, LJ; Bradley, B; Farrer, LA; Johnson, EO; King, A; Kranzler, HR; Maihofer, AX; Rice, JP; Roberts, AL; Saccone, NL; Zhao, H; Liberzon, I; Ressler, KJ; Nievergelt, CM; Koenen, KC; Gelernter, J; Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup,

Published Date

  • November 27, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 99 -

PubMed ID

  • 29178946

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5702961

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1756-994X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13073-017-0491-4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England