Department of Economics and Business Economics

Genetic liability to major depression and risk of childhood asthma

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Xiaoqin Liu
  • Trine Munk-Olsen
  • Clara Albiñana
  • Bjarni J Vilhjálmsson
  • Emil M Pedersen
  • Vivi Schlünssen
  • Marie Bækvad-Hansen, Danish Center for Neonatal Screening, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark., Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH)
  • ,
  • Jonas Bybjerg-Grauholm, Danish Center for Neonatal Screening, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark., Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH)
  • ,
  • Merete Nordentoft, University of Copenhagen, Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Mental Health Centre Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Anders D Børglum
  • Thomas Werge, Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Mental Health Services Capital Region of Denmark
  • ,
  • David M Hougaard, Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH), Statens Serum Institut
  • ,
  • Preben B Mortensen
  • Esben Agerbo

OBJECTIVE: Major depression and asthma frequently co-occur, suggesting shared genetic vulnerability between these two disorders. We aimed to determine whether a higher genetic liability to major depression was associated with increased childhood asthma risk, and if so, whether such an association differed by sex of the child.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based cohort study comprising 16,687 singletons born between 1991 and 2005 in Denmark. We calculated the polygenic risk score (PRS) for major depression as a measure of genetic liability based on the summary statistics from the Major Depressive Disorder Psychiatric Genomics Consortium collaboration. The outcome was incident asthma from age 5 to 15 years, identified from the Danish National Patient Registry and the Danish National Prescription Registry. Stratified Cox regression was used to analyze the data.

RESULTS: Greater genetic liability to major depression was associated with an increased asthma risk with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.06 (95% CI: 1.01-1.10) per standard deviation increase in PRS. Children in the highest major depression PRS quartile had a HR for asthma of 1.20 (95% CI: 1.06-1.36), compared with children in the lowest quartile. However, major depression PRS explained only 0.03% of asthma variance (Pseudo-R2). The HRs of asthma by major depression PRS did not differ between boys and girls.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest a shared genetic contribution to major depression and childhood asthma, and there is no evidence of a sex-specific difference in the association.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume89
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
ISSN0889-1591
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • Asthma, Cohort study, Genetic liability, Major depression, Polygenic risk score, Population-based

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