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Genome Med DOI:10.1186/s13073-017-0491-4

A putative causal relationship between genetically determined female body shape and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPolimanti, R, Amstadter, AB, Stein, MB, Almli, LM, Baker, DG, Bierut, LJ, Bradley, B, Farrer, LA, Johnson, EO, King, A, Kranzler, HR, Maihofer, AX, Rice, JP, Roberts, AL, Saccone, NL, Zhao, H, Liberzon, I, Ressler, KJ, Nievergelt, CM, Koenen, KC, Gelernter, J
Corporate AuthorsPsychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup
JournalGenome Med
Date Published2017 Nov 27

BACKGROUND: The nature and underlying mechanisms of the observed increased vulnerability to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women are unclear.

METHODS: We investigated the genetic overlap of PTSD with anthropometric traits and reproductive behaviors and functions in women. The analysis was conducted using female-specific summary statistics from large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and a cohort of 3577 European American women (966 PTSD cases and 2611 trauma-exposed controls). We applied a high-resolution polygenic score approach and Mendelian randomization analysis to investigate genetic correlations and causal relationships.

RESULTS: We observed an inverse association of PTSD with genetically determined anthropometric traits related to body shape, independent of body mass index (BMI). The top association was related to BMI-adjusted waist circumference (WCadj; R = -0.079, P 

CONCLUSIONS: There is a putative causal relationship between genetically determined female body shape and PTSD, which could be mediated by evolutionary mechanisms involved in human sexual behaviors.


Alternate JournalGenome Med
PubMed ID29178946
Grant ListR01 MH106595 / / National Institute of Mental Health / United States
U01 MH109532 / / National Institute of Mental Health / United States
National Center for PTSD Research / / U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / United States