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Common genetic variants explain the majority of the correlation between height and intelligence: the generation Scotland study

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  • Generation Scotland

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    Rights statement: Copyright © The Author(s) 2014 Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


Greater height and higher intelligence test scores are predictors of better health outcomes. Here, we used molecular (single-nucleotide polymorphism) data to estimate the genetic correlation between height and general intelligence (g) in 6,815 unrelated subjects (median age 57, IQR 49-63) from the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study cohort. The phenotypic correlation between height and g was 0.16 (SE 0.01). The genetic correlation between height and g was 0.28 (SE 0.09) with a bivariate heritability estimate of 0.71. Understanding the molecular basis of the correlation between height and intelligence may help explain any shared role in determining health outcomes. This study identified a modest genetic correlation between height and intelligence with the majority of the phenotypic correlation being explained by shared genetic influences.

    Research areas

  • Height, Intelligence, Molecular genetics, Genetic correlation, Generation Scotland, SCOTTISH FAMILY HEALTH, HERITABILITY, METAANALYSIS, ASSOCIATION, PLEIOTROPY, CHILDHOOD, DISEASE, SAMPLES, COHORT

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