Complex health outcomes or behaviors of interest to the research community are often highly polygenic, or reflect the aggregate effect of many different genes so the use of single genetic variants or candidate genes may not capture the dynamic nature of more complex phenotypes. A polygenic score (PGS) aggregates millions of individual loci across the human genome and weights them by the strength of their association to produce a single quantitative measure of genetic risk. This maximizes statistical power when modeling gene-environment (G x E) interactions.
PGS for a variety of phenotypes have been constructed as part of this public data release for HRS respondents who provided salivary DNA between 2006 and 2012. These scores will help harmonize research across studies. PGS for each phenotype are based on a single, replicated genome-wide association study (GWAS). These scores will be updated as sufficiently large GWAS are published for new phenotypes or as meta-analyses for existing phenotypes are updated.
This update includes the PGS for Educational Attainment including 23andMe summary statistics.
The variable names for the BMI 2 and Weight 2 polygenic scores were incorrectly labeled for both the European and African ancestry samples (i.e. BMI was labeled as Height and Height was labeled as BMI). This has been updated in this current release and in the documentation.
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