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GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment

Rietveld, C. A. and Medland, S. E. and Derringer, J. and Yang, J. and Esko, T. and Martin, N. W. and Westra, H.-J. and Shakhbazov, K. and Abdellaoui, A. and Agrawal, A. and Albrecht, E. and Alizadeh, B. Z. and Amin, N. and Barnard, J. and Baumeister, S. E. and Benke, K. S. and Bielak, L. F. and Boatman, J. A. and Boyle, P. A. and Davies, G. and de Leeuw, C. and Eklund, N. and Evans, D. S. and Ferhmann, R. and Fischer, K. and Gieger, C. and Gjessing, H. K. and Hagg, S. and Harris, J. R. and Hayward, C. and Holzapfel, C. and Ibrahim-Verbaas, C. A. and Ingelsson, E. and Jacobsson, B. and Joshi, P. K. and Jugessur, A. and Kaakinen, M. and Kanoni, S. and Karjalainen, J. and Kolcic, I. and Kristiansson, K. and Kutalik, Z. and Lahti, J. and Lee, S. H. and Lin, P. and Lind, P. A. and Liu, Y. and Lohman, K. and Loitfelder, M. and McMahon, G. and Vidal, P. M. and Meirelles, O. and Milani, L. and Myhre, R. and Nuotio, M.-L. and Oldmeadow, C. J. and Petrovic, K. E. and Peyrot, W. J. and Polasek, O. and Quaye, L. and Reinmaa, E. and Rice, J. P. and Rizzi, T. S. and Schmidt, H. and Schmidt, R. and Smith, A. V. and Smith, J. A. and Tanaka, T. and Terracciano, A. and Van der Loos, M.J.H.M and Vitart, V. and Volzke, H. and Wellmann, J. and Yu, L. and Zhao, W. and Allik, J. and Attia, J. R. and Bandinelli, S. and Bastardot, F. and Beauchamp, J. and Bennett, D. A. and Berger, K. and Bierut, L. J. and Boomsma, D. I. and Bultmann, U. and Campbell, H. and Chabris, C. F. and Cherkas, L. and Chung, M. K. and Cucca, F. and de Andrade, M. and De Jager, P. L. and De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Deary, I. J. and Dedoussis, G. V. and Deloukas, P. and Dimitriou, M. and Eiriksdottir, G. and Elderson, M. F. and Eriksson, J. G. and Evans, D. M. and Faul, J. D. and Ferrucci, L. and Garcia, M. E. and Gronberg, H. and Guthnason, V. and Hall, P. and Harris, J. M. and Harris, T. B. and Hastie, N. D. and Heath, A. C. and Hernandez, D. G. and Hoffmann, W. and Hofman, A. and Holle, R. and Holliday, E. G. and Hottenga, J.-J. and Iacono, W. G. and Illig, T. and Jarvelin, M.-R. and Kahonen, M. and Kaprio, J. and Kirkpatrick, R. M. and Kowgier, M. and Latvala, A. and Launer, L. J. and Lawlor, D. A. and Lehtimaki, T. and Li, J. and Lichtenstein, P. and Lichtner, P. and Liewald, D. C. and Madden, P. A. and Magnusson, P. K. E. and Makinen, T. E. and Masala, M. and McGue, M. and Metspalu, A. and Mielck, A. and Miller, M. B. and Montgomery, G. W. and Mukherjee, S. and Nyholt, D. R. and Oostra, B. A. and Palmer, L. J. and Palotie, A. and Penninx, B. W. J. H. and Perola, M. and Peyser, P. A. and Preisig, M. and Raikkonen, K. and Raitakari, O. T. and Realo, A. and Ring, S. M. and Ripatti, S. and Rivadeneira, F. and Rudan, I. and Rustichini, A. and Salomaa, V. and Sarin, A.-P. and Schlessinger, D. and Scott, R. J. and Snieder, H. and St Pourcain, B. and Starr, J. M. and Sul, J. H. and Surakka, I. and Svento, R. and Teumer, A. and Tiemeier, H. and van Rooij, F. J. A. and Van Wagoner, D. R. and Vartiainen, E. and Viikari, J. and Vollenweider, P. and Vonk, J. M. and Waeber, G. and Weir, D. R. and Wichmann, H.- E. and Widen, E. and Willemsen, G. and Wilson, J. F. and Wright, A. F. and Conley, D. and Davey-Smith, G. and Franke, L. and Groenen, P. J. F. and Hofman, A. and Johannesson, M. and Kardia, S. L. R. and Krueger, R. F. and Laibson, D. and Martin, N. G. and Meyer, M. N. and Posthuma, D. and Thurik, A. R. and Timpson, N. J. and Uitterlinden, A. G. and van Duijn, C. M. and Visscher, P. M. and Benjamin, D. J. and Cesarini, D. and Koellinger, P. D. (2013) GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment. Science, 340 (6139). pp. 1467-1471. ISSN 0036-8075

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Identification Number: 10.1126/science.1235488


A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of educational attainment was conducted in a discovery sample of 101,069 individuals and a replication sample of 25,490. Three independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are genome-wide significant (rs9320913, rs11584700, rs4851266), and all three replicate. Estimated effects sizes are small (coefficient of determination R2≈ 0.02%), approximately 1 month of schooling per allele. A linear polygenic score from all measured SNPs accounts for ≈2% of the variance in both educational attainment and cognitive function. Genes in the region of the loci have previously been associated with health, cognitive, and central nervous system phenotypes, and bioinformatics analyses suggest the involvement of the anterior caudate nucleus. These findings provide promising candidate SNPs for follow-up work, and our effect size estimates can anchor power analyses in social-science genetics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2013 15:00
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2016 09:18
Projects: E9/11, P01-AG005842, P01-AG005842-20S2, P30-AG012810, and T32-AG000186-23
Funders: Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, National Institute on Aging (NIA)/NIH, Intramural Research Program of the NIA/NIH

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