Age-Specific Genetic Effects for Blood Pressure

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Correlations between relatives were determined for systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The correlations decrease as age differences between relatives increase in a Norwegian sample with 43 751 parent-offspring pairs, 19 140 pairs of siblings, and 169 pairs of twins. A simple biometric model specifying only age-specific genetic additive effects and environmental effects fitted well to correlations between cotwins, pairs of siblings, and parent-offspring dyads in subsets of relatives grouped by age differences. None of the environmental effects appeared to be due to environmental factors that are shared by family members. Models that excluded a parameter for the age-specific genetic influence did not fit the data. The results may partly explain what seems to be a discrepancy between relatively low parent-offspring correlations from previous nuclear family studies and high correlations from twin studies, especially in identical twins.

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