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To identify genetic variants associated with head circumference in infancy, we performed a meta-analysis of seven genome-wide association studies (GWAS) (N = 10,768 individuals of European ancestry enrolled in pregnancy and/or birth cohorts) and followed up three lead signals in six replication studies (combined N = 19,089). rs7980687 on chromosome 12q24 (P = 8.1 × 10(-9)) and rs1042725 on chromosome 12q15 (P = 2.8 × 10(-10)) were robustly associated with head circumference in infancy. Although these loci have previously been associated with adult height, their effects on infant head circumference were largely independent of height (P = 3.8 × 10(-7) for rs7980687 and P = 1.3 × 10(-7) for rs1042725 after adjustment for infant height). A third signal, rs11655470 on chromosome 17q21, showed suggestive evidence of association with head circumference (P = 3.9 × 10(-6)). SNPs correlated to the 17q21 signal have shown genome-wide association with adult intracranial volume, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, indicating that a common genetic variant in this region might link early brain growth with neurological disease in later life.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/ng.2238

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Genet

Publication Date

15/04/2012

Volume

44

Pages

532 - 538

Keywords

Chromosomes, Human, Pair 12, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Genetic Loci, Genetic Markers, Genome-Wide Association Study, Head, Humans, Infant, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications