Underweight and severe and morbid obesity are associated with highly elevated risks of adverse health outcomes. We estimated trends in mean body-mass index (BMI), which characterises its population distribution, and in the prevalences of a complete set of BMI categories for adults in all countries.
We analysed, with use of a consistent protocol, population-based studies that had measured height and weight in adults aged 18 years and older. We applied a Bayesian hierarchical model to these data to estimate trends from 1975 to 2014 in mean BMI and in the prevalences of BMI categories (<18·5 kg/m(2) [underweight], 18·5 kg/m(2) to <20 kg/m(2), 20 kg/m(2) to <25 kg/m(2), 25 kg/m(2) to <30 kg/m(2), 30 kg/m(2) to <35 kg/m(2), 35 kg/m(2) to <40 kg/m(2), ≥40 kg/m(2) [morbid obesity]), by sex in 200 countries and territories, organised in 21 regions. We calculated the posterior probability of meeting the target of halting by 2025 the rise in obesity at its 2010 levels, if post-2000 trends continue.
We used 1698 population-based data sources, with more than 19·2 million adult participants (9·9 million men and 9·3 million women) in 186 of 200 countries for which estimates were made. Global age-standardised mean BMI increased from 21·7 kg/m(2) (95% credible interval 21·3-22·1) in 1975 to 24·2 kg/m(2) (24·0-24·4) in 2014 in men, and from 22·1 kg/m(2) (21·7-22·5) in 1975 to 24·4 kg/m(2) (24·2-24·6) in 2014 in women. Regional mean BMIs in 2014 for men ranged from 21·4 kg/m(2) in central Africa and south Asia to 29·2 kg/m(2) (28·6-29·8) in Polynesia and Micronesia; for women the range was from 21·8 kg/m(2) (21·4-22·3) in south Asia to 32·2 kg/m(2) (31·5-32·8) in Polynesia and Micronesia. Over these four decades, age-standardised global prevalence of underweight decreased from 13·8% (10·5-17·4) to 8·8% (7·4-10·3) in men and from 14·6% (11·6-17·9) to 9·7% (8·3-11·1) in women. South Asia had the highest prevalence of underweight in 2014, 23·4% (17·8-29·2) in men and 24·0% (18·9-29·3) in women. Age-standardised prevalence of obesity increased from 3·2% (2·4-4·1) in 1975 to 10·8% (9·7-12·0) in 2014 in men, and from 6·4% (5·1-7·8) to 14·9% (13·6-16·1) in women. 2·3% (2·0-2·7) of the world's men and 5·0% (4·4-5·6) of women were severely obese (ie, have BMI ≥35 kg/m(2)). Globally, prevalence of morbid obesity was 0·64% (0·46-0·86) in men and 1·6% (1·3-1·9) in women.
If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global obesity target is virtually zero. Rather, if these trends continue, by 2025, global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women; severe obesity will surpass 6% in men and 9% in women. Nonetheless, underweight remains prevalent in the world's poorest regions, especially in south Asia.
Wellcome Trust, Grand Challenges Canada.
Schizophrenia is a heritable brain illness with unknown pathogenic mechanisms. Schizophrenia's strongest genetic association at a population level involves variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus, but the genes and molecular mechanisms accounting for this have been challenging to identify. Here we show that this association arises in part from many structurally diverse alleles of the complement component 4 (C4) genes. We found that these alleles generated widely varying levels of C4A and C4B expression in the brain, with each common C4 allele associating with schizophrenia in proportion to its tendency to generate greater expression of C4A. Human C4 protein localized to neuronal synapses, dendrites, axons, and cell bodies. In mice, C4 mediated synapse elimination during postnatal development. These results implicate excessive complement activity in the development of schizophrenia and may help explain the reduced numbers of synapses in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia.
Educational attainment is strongly influenced by social and other environmental factors, but genetic factors are estimated to account for at least 20% of the variation across individuals. Here we report the results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for educational attainment that extends our earlier discovery sample of 101,069 individuals to 293,723 individuals, and a replication study in an independent sample of 111,349 individuals from the UK Biobank. We identify 74 genome-wide significant loci associated with the number of years of schooling completed. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with educational attainment are disproportionately found in genomic regions regulating gene expression in the fetal brain. Candidate genes are preferentially expressed in neural tissue, especially during the prenatal period, and enriched for biological pathways involved in neural development. Our findings demonstrate that, even for a behavioural phenotype that is mostly environmentally determined, a well-powered GWAS identifies replicable associated genetic variants that suggest biologically relevant pathways. Because educational attainment is measured in large numbers of individuals, it will continue to be useful as a proxy phenotype in efforts to characterize the genetic influences of related phenotypes, including cognition and neuropsychiatric diseases.
Aerobic exercise such as running enhances adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in rodents. Little is known about the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIT) or of purely anaerobic resistance training on AHN. Here, compared to a sedentary lifestyle, we report a very modest effect of HIT and no effect of resistance training on AHN in adult male rats. We find most AHN in rats that were selectively bred for an innately high response to aerobic exercise that also run voluntarily and - increase maximum running capacity. Our results confirm that sustained aerobic exercise is key in improving AHN.
Aerobic exercise, such as running, has positive effects on brain structure and function, for example, adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) and learning. Whether high-intensity interval training (HIT), referring to alternating short bouts of very intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods, or anaerobic resistance training (RT) has similar effects on AHN is unclear. In addition, individual genetic variation in the overall response to physical exercise likely plays a part in the effects of exercise on AHN but is less studied. Recently, we developed polygenic rat models that gain differentially for running capacity in response to aerobic treadmill training. Here we subjected these Low Response Trainer (LRT) and High Response Trainer (HRT) adult male rats to various forms of physical exercise for 6 to 8 weeks and examined its effects on AHN. Compared to sedentary animals, the highest number of doublecortin-positive hippocampal cells was observed in HRT rats that ran voluntarily on a running wheel while HIT on the treadmill had a smaller, statistically non-significant effect on AHN. AHN was elevated in both LRT and HRT rats that endurance trained on a treadmill compared to those that performed RT by climbing a vertical ladder with weights, despite their significant gain in strength. Furthermore, RT had no effect on proliferation (Ki67), maturation (doublecortin) or survival (BrdU) of new adult-born hippocampal neurons in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Our results suggest physical exercise promotes AHN most if it is aerobic and sustained, and especially when accompanied by a heightened genetic predisposition for response to physical exercise. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Here we report the Simons Genome Diversity Project data set: high quality genomes from 300 individuals from 142 diverse populations. These genomes include at least 5.8 million base pairs that are not present in the human reference genome. Our analysis reveals key features of the landscape of human genome variation, including that the rate of accumulation of mutations has accelerated by about 5% in non-Africans compared to Africans since divergence. We show that the ancestors of some pairs of present-day human populations were substantially separated by 100,000 years ago, well before the archaeologically attested onset of behavioural modernity. We also demonstrate that indigenous Australians, New Guineans and Andamanese do not derive substantial ancestry from an early dispersal of modern humans; instead, their modern human ancestry is consistent with coming from the same source as that of other non-Africans.
Okbay; Aysu; Baselmans; Bart M. L.; De Neve; Jan-Emmanuel; Turley; Patrick; Nivard; Michel G.; Fontana; Mark Alan; Meddens; S. Fleur W.; Linner; Richard Karlsson; Rietveld; Cornelius A.; Derringer; Jaime; Gratten; Jacob; Lee; James J.; Liu; Jimmy Z.; de Vlaming; Ronald; Ahluwalia; Tarunveer S.; Buchwald; Jadwiga; Cavadino; Alana; Frazier-Wood; Alexis C.; Furlotte; Nicholas A.; Garfield; Victoria; Geisel; Marie Henrike; Gonzalez; Juan R.; Haitjema; Saskia; Karlsson; Robert; van der Laan; Sander W
Very few genetic variants have been associated with depression and neuroticism, likely because of limitations on sample size in previous studies. Subjective well-being, a phenotype that is genetically correlated with both of these traits, has not yet been studied with genome-wide data. We conducted genome-wide association studies of three phenotypes: subjective well-being (n = 298,420), depressive symptoms (n = 161,460), and neuroticism (n = 170,911). We identify 3 variants associated with subjective well-being, 2 variants associated with depressive symptoms, and 11 variants associated with neuroticism, including 2 inversion polymorphisms. The two loci associated with depressive symptoms replicate in an independent depression sample. Joint analyses that exploit the high genetic correlations between the phenotypes (|ρ^| ≈ 0.8) strengthen the overall credibility of the findings and allow us to identify additional variants. Across our phenotypes, loci regulating expression in central nervous system and adrenal or pancreas tissues are strongly enriched for association.
Smallpox holds a unique position in the history of medicine. It was the first disease for which a vaccine was developed and remains the only human disease eradicated by vaccination. Although there have been claims of smallpox in Egypt, India, and China dating back millennia [1-4], the timescale of emergence of the causative agent, variola virus (VARV), and how it evolved in the context of increasingly widespread immunization, have proven controversial [4-9]. In particular, some molecular-clock-based studies have suggested that key events in VARV evolution only occurred during the last two centuries [4-6] and hence in apparent conflict with anecdotal historical reports, although it is difficult to distinguish smallpox from other pustular rashes by description alone. To address these issues, we captured, sequenced, and reconstructed a draft genome of an ancient strain of VARV, sampled from a Lithuanian child mummy dating between 1643 and 1665 and close to the time of several documented European epidemics [1, 2, 10]. When compared to vaccinia virus, this archival strain contained the same pattern of gene degradation as 20(th) century VARVs, indicating that such loss of gene function had occurred before ca. 1650. Strikingly, the mummy sequence fell basal to all currently sequenced strains of VARV on phylogenetic trees. Molecular-clock analyses revealed a strong clock-like structure and that the timescale of smallpox evolution is more recent than often supposed, with the diversification of major viral lineages only occurring within the 18(th) and 19(th) centuries, concomitant with the development of modern vaccination.
Large-scale reference data sets of human genetic variation are critical for the medical and functional interpretation of DNA sequence changes. Here we describe the aggregation and analysis of high-quality exome (protein-coding region) DNA sequence data for 60,706 individuals of diverse ancestries generated as part of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). This catalogue of human genetic diversity contains an average of one variant every eight bases of the exome, and provides direct evidence for the presence of widespread mutational recurrence. We have used this catalogue to calculate objective metrics of pathogenicity for sequence variants, and to identify genes subject to strong selection against various classes of mutation; identifying 3,230 genes with near-complete depletion of predicted protein-truncating variants, with 72% of these genes having no currently established human disease phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that these data can be used for the efficient filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, and for the discovery of human 'knockout' variants in protein-coding genes.
One of the global targets for non-communicable diseases is to halt, by 2025, the rise in the age-standardised adult prevalence of diabetes at its 2010 levels. We aimed to estimate worldwide trends in diabetes, how likely it is for countries to achieve the global target, and how changes in prevalence, together with population growth and ageing, are affecting the number of adults with diabetes.
We pooled data from population-based studies that had collected data on diabetes through measurement of its biomarkers. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate trends in diabetes prevalence-defined as fasting plasma glucose of 7·0 mmol/L or higher, or history of diagnosis with diabetes, or use of insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs-in 200 countries and territories in 21 regions, by sex and from 1980 to 2014. We also calculated the posterior probability of meeting the global diabetes target if post-2000 trends continue.
We used data from 751 studies including 4 372 000 adults from 146 of the 200 countries we make estimates for. Global age-standardised diabetes prevalence increased from 4·3% (95% credible interval 2·4-7·0) in 1980 to 9·0% (7·2-11·1) in 2014 in men, and from 5·0% (2·9-7·9) to 7·9% (6·4-9·7) in women. The number of adults with diabetes in the world increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 (28·5% due to the rise in prevalence, 39·7% due to population growth and ageing, and 31·8% due to interaction of these two factors). Age-standardised adult diabetes prevalence in 2014 was lowest in northwestern Europe, and highest in Polynesia and Micronesia, at nearly 25%, followed by Melanesia and the Middle East and north Africa. Between 1980 and 2014 there was little change in age-standardised diabetes prevalence in adult women in continental western Europe, although crude prevalence rose because of ageing of the population. By contrast, age-standardised adult prevalence rose by 15 percentage points in men and women in Polynesia and Micronesia. In 2014, American Samoa had the highest national prevalence of diabetes (>30% in both sexes), with age-standardised adult prevalence also higher than 25% in some other islands in Polynesia and Micronesia. If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global target of halting the rise in the prevalence of diabetes by 2025 at the 2010 level worldwide is lower than 1% for men and is 1% for women. Only nine countries for men and 29 countries for women, mostly in western Europe, have a 50% or higher probability of meeting the global target.
Since 1980, age-standardised diabetes prevalence in adults has increased, or at best remained unchanged, in every country. Together with population growth and ageing, this rise has led to a near quadrupling of the number of adults with diabetes worldwide. The burden of diabetes, both in terms of prevalence and number of adults affected, has increased faster in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Fuchsberger, Christian; Flannick, Jason; Teslovich, Tanya M.; Mahajan, Anubha; Agarwala, Vineeta; Gaulton, Kyle J.; Ma, Clement; Fontanillas, Pierre; Moutsianas, Loukas; McCarthy, Davis J.; Rivas, Manuel A.; Perry, John R. B.; Sim, Xueling; Blackwell, Thomas W.; Robertson, Neil R.; Rayner, N. William; Cingolani, Pablo; Locke, Adam E.; Tajes, Juan Fernandez; Highland, Heather M.
The genetic architecture of common traits, including the number, frequency, and effect sizes of inherited variants that contribute to individual risk, has been long debated. Genome-wide association studies have identified scores of common variants associated with type 2 diabetes, but in aggregate, these explain only a fraction of the heritability of this disease. Here, to test the hypothesis that lower-frequency variants explain much of the remainder, the GoT2D and T2D-GENES consortia performed whole-genome sequencing in 2,657 European individuals with and without diabetes, and exome sequencing in 12,940 individuals from five ancestry groups. To increase statistical power, we expanded the sample size via genotyping and imputation in a further 111,548 subjects. Variants associated with type 2 diabetes after sequencing were overwhelmingly common and most fell within regions previously identified by genome-wide association studies. Comprehensive enumeration of sequence variation is necessary to identify functional alleles that provide important clues to disease pathophysiology, but large-scale sequencing does not support the idea that lower-frequency variants have a major role in predisposition to type 2 diabetes.
Driggers, R. W.; Ho, C.-Y.; Korhonen, E. M.; Kuivanen, S.; Jääskeläinen, A. J.; Smura, T.; Rosenberg, A.; Hill, D. A.; DeBiasi, R. L.; Vezina, G.; Timofeev, J.; Rodriguez, F. J.; Levanov, L.; Razak, J.; Iyengar, P.; Hennenfent , A.; Kennedy, R.; Lanciotti, R.; du Plessis, A.; Vapalahti, O.
New England Journal of Medicine
Volume 374, Issue 22, Pages 2142–2151
The current outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with an apparent increased risk of congenital microcephaly. We describe a case of a pregnant woman and her fetus infected with ZIKV during the 11th gestational week. The fetal head circumference decreased from the 47th percentile to the 24th percentile between 16 and 20 weeks of gestation. ZIKV RNA was identified in maternal serum at 16 and 21 weeks of gestation. At 19 and 20 weeks of gestation, substantial brain abnormalities were detected on ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without the presence of microcephaly or intracranial calcifications. On postmortem analysis of the fetal brain, diffuse cerebral cortical thinning, high ZIKV RNA loads, and viral particles were detected, and ZIKV was subsequently isolated.
Estimates of familial cancer risk from population-based studies are essential components of cancer risk prediction.
To estimate familial risk and heritability of cancer types in a large twin cohort.
Prospective study of 80 309 monozygotic and 123 382 same-sex dizygotic twin individuals (N = 203 691) within the population-based registers of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Twins were followed up a median of 32 years between 1943 and 2010. There were 50 990 individuals who died of any cause, and 3804 who emigrated and were lost to follow-up.
Shared environmental and heritable risk factors among pairs of twins.
The main outcome was incident cancer. Time-to-event analyses were used to estimate familial risk (risk of cancer in an individual given a twin's development of cancer) and heritability (proportion of variance in cancer risk due to interindividual genetic differences) with follow-up via cancer registries. Statistical models adjusted for age and follow-up time, and accounted for censoring and competing risk of death.
A total of 27 156 incident cancers were diagnosed in 23 980 individuals, translating to a cumulative incidence of 32%. Cancer was diagnosed in both twins among 1383 monozygotic (2766 individuals) and 1933 dizygotic (2866 individuals) pairs. Of these, 38% of monozygotic and 26% of dizygotic pairs were diagnosed with the same cancer type. There was an excess cancer risk in twins whose co-twin was diagnosed with cancer, with estimated cumulative risks that were an absolute 5% (95% CI, 4%-6%) higher in dizygotic (37%; 95% CI, 36%-38%) and an absolute 14% (95% CI, 12%-16%) higher in monozygotic twins (46%; 95% CI, 44%-48%) whose twin also developed cancer compared with the cumulative risk in the overall cohort (32%). For most cancer types, there were significant familial risks and the cumulative risks were higher in monozygotic than dizygotic twins. Heritability of cancer overall was 33% (95% CI, 30%-37%). Significant heritability was observed for the cancer types of skin melanoma (58%; 95% CI, 43%-73%), prostate (57%; 95% CI, 51%-63%), nonmelanoma skin (43%; 95% CI, 26%-59%), ovary (39%; 95% CI, 23%-55%), kidney (38%; 95% CI, 21%-55%), breast (31%; 95% CI, 11%-51%), and corpus uteri (27%; 95% CI, 11%-43%).
In this long-term follow-up study among Nordic twins, there was significant excess familial risk for cancer overall and for specific types of cancer, including prostate, melanoma, breast, ovary, and uterus. This information about hereditary risks of cancers may be helpful in patient education and cancer risk counseling.