Genetic Correlates of Social Stratification in Great Britain

Abdellaoui, Abdel, Hugh-Jones, David, Kemper, Kathryn E., Holtz, Yan, Nivard, Michel G., Veul, Laura, Yengo, Loic, Zietsch, Brendan P., Frayling, Timothy M., Wray, Naomi, Yang, Jian, Verweij, Karin J.H. and Visscher, Peter M. (2019) Genetic Correlates of Social Stratification in Great Britain. Nature Human Behaviour, 3. 1332–1342. ISSN 2397-3374

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Abstract

Human DNA polymorphisms vary across geographic regions, with the most commonly observed variation reflecting distant ancestry differences. Here we investigate the geographic clustering of common genetic variants that influence complex traits in a sample of ~450,000 individuals from Great Britain. Of 33 traits analysed, 21 showed significant geographic clustering at the genetic level after controlling for ancestry, probably reflecting migration driven by socioeconomic status (SES). Alleles associated with educational attainment (EA) showed the most clustering, with EA-decreasing alleles clustering in lower SES areas such as coal mining areas. Individuals who leave coal mining areas carry more EA-increasing alleles on average than those in the rest of Great Britain. The level of geographic clustering is correlated with genetic associations between complex traits and regional measures of SES, health and cultural outcomes. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that social stratification leaves visible marks in geographic arrangements of common allele frequencies and gene–environment correlations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 01:56
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 08:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73058
DOI: 10.1038/s41562-019-0757-5

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