Gene-Environment Interplay of Social Contexts and Aging-Related Outcomes (IGEMS)

A new collaboration among 7 existing longitudinal twin and family studies in Sweden, Denmark, and the US to lay the foundation for future studies of gene-environment interplay through harmonization of these data sets. The central focus is social data that can be related to outcomes in midlife and old age. The studies have a variety of measures relevant to 3 outcome domains: physical functioning and health, psychological well-being (emotional stability/depression), and cognitive health. The studies share a number of indicators of social environment from early childhood through adulthood (e.g. social context, early life experiences, SES). In all, we have data from 7105 twin pairs, age 24 to >90 at baseline, and up to 26 years of longitudinal follow-up. We propose to exploit the as yet unharnessed potential of these studies for considering questions about interplay between social context and late-life outcomes. Using existing data, we will capitalize on advantages of the twin design for evaluating GXE and GE correlation, considering both genetic and environmental variance and measured genes and environments. After establishing that such relations exist, we will incorporate measures of inflammatory markers and/or genes (e.g. CRP and IL-6) in Swedish, Danish and American samples as a first concrete step to demonstrate added value of collaboration across these genetically informative twin materials (Yrs 3&4). Finally, we will explore other biological markers and/or genotypes) in relevant analyses of GXE and GE correlation (Yrs 4&5).

Consortium on Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS)

Study Investigators:

Jenae Neiderhiser
Nancy L. Pederson, Ph.D. - Karolinska Institute
Margaret Gatz, Ph.D. - University of Southern California
Deborah Finkle, Ph.D. - Indiana University Southeast
Matthew McGue, Ph.D. - University of Minnesota
Chandra Reynolds, Ph.D. - University of California, Riverside
Carol Franz, Ph.D. - University of California, San Diego
Carol Prescott, Ph.D. - University of Southern California
Kaare Christensen, MD, Ph.D. - Syddansk Universitet
Jaakko Kaprio, MD, Ph.D. - University of Helsinki