Interplay between polygenic risk for mood disorders and stressful life events in bipolar disorder.

Journal of affective disorders

BACKGROUND: Although genetic and environmental factors are involved in the aetiology of bipolar disorder [BD], studies focused on their interplay are lacking. The current investigation examines interactions and correlations between polygenic risk scores [PRS] for BD and major depressive disorder [MDD] with stressful life events [SLEs] in liability for BD.METHODS: This study used data from 1715 participants (862 bipolar cases and 853 controls) taken from UK and Canadian samples. The List of Threatening Experiences Questionnaire recorded SLEs that occurred 6 months before interview for controls and 6 months prior to the first (Canadian sample) and worst (UK sample) depressive and manic episodes for bipolar cases. PRS-BD and PRS-MDD were calculated from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.RESULTS: PRS-MDD was significant correlated with total number of SLEs (β = 0.13, 95 % CI:0.04-0.22, p = 0.003) and dependent SLEs (β = 0.09, 95 % CI:0.02-0.16, p = 0.007). After correction for multiple testing nominally significant correlations were detected for PRS-BD with total number of SLEs (β = 0.11, 95 % CI:0.02-0.20, p = 0.015) and dependent SLEs (β = 0.08, 95 % CI:0.01-0.15, p = 0.019). Among bipolar cases, these associations were slightly stronger but were only of nominal significance for total number of SLEs (PRS-MDD: β = 0.19, 95 % CI:0.04-0.35, p = 0.015; PRS-BD: β = 0.16, 95 % CI:0.01-0.32, p = 0.042) and dependent SLEs (PRS-MDD: β = 0.14, 95 % CI:0.03-0.26, p = 0.015; PRS-BD: β = 0.12, 95 % CI:0.004-0.24, p = 0.043). No other significant gene-environment correlations or interactions were found.LIMITATIONS: Use of a larger sample size would be beneficial.CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between SLEs and genetic risk for mood disorders may be best explained through correlations rather than interactions.

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Journal of affective disorders
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