Genome-wide analysis of self-reported risk-taking behaviour and cross-disorder genetic correlations in the UK Biobank cohort.

RJ Strawbridge, J Ward, B Cullen, EM Tunbridge, S Hartz, L Bierut, A Horton, MES Bailey, N Graham, A Ferguson, DM Lyall, D Mackay, LM Pidgeon, DJ Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Risk-taking behaviour is a key component of several psychiatric disorders and could influence lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use, and diet. As a phenotype, risk-taking behaviour therefore fits within a Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) approach, whereby identifying genetic determinants of this trait has the potential to improve our understanding across different psychiatric disorders. Here we report a genome-wide association study in 116,255 UK Biobank participants who responded yes/no to the question “Would you consider yourself a risk taker?” Risk takers (compared with controls) were more likely to be men, smokers, and have a history of psychiatric disorder. Genetic loci associated with risk-taking behaviour were identified on chromosomes 3 (rs13084531) and 6 (rs9379971). The effects of both lead SNPs were comparable between men and women. The chromosome 3 locus highlights CADM2, previously implicated in cognitive and executive functions, but the chromosome 6 locus is challenging to interpret due to the complexity of the HLA region. Risk-taking behaviour shared significant genetic risk with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as with smoking and total obesity. Despite being based on only a single question, this study furthers our understanding of the biology of risk-taking behaviour, a trait that has a major impact on a range of common physical and mental health disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2018

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