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Approved research

The effect of demographic factors on our polygenetic chance of education and well-being

Principal Investigator: Professor Asa Johansson
Approved Research ID: 48374
Approval date: July 30th 2019

Lay summary

Education is one of the key factors associated with achieving a meaningful and healthy life. It is strongly linked to several quality-of-life measurements such as happiness and life-satisfaction, as well health, mortality, employment, obesity, smoking and alcohol abuse, etc. It has also been proposed as a critical factor for social mobility. Genetic studies have shown that educational attainment is influenced by the combined effects of a large number of genetic variants. However, it is also known that the probability of receiving an education is highly determined by demographic factors such as socioeconomic status. In this study, we aim to determine how genetic effects are propagated differently depending on demographic factors. Our hypothesis is that depending on demographic factors, individuals might respond differently to genetic effects including that: * Genetic variant associated with cardiovascular disease may have a higher effect in individuals with certain dietary patterns that is more common in groups of individuals with low socioeconomic status or of one of the sexes. * Demographic factors serve as markers for environmental factors that modify the effects of genetic variants related to achieving an education. We also aim to investigate the causal effects of educational attainment on health-related traits and to evaluate if an increased education level in the society can influence the overall health in the population. Identifying how demographic and educational attainment influence genetic factors can be informative for the design of useful interventions that are aimed at improving education-outcomes. Socioeconomic status has also been implicated as a strong determinant for public health. Determining causal relationships between socioeconomic factors and well-being can also inform intervention- and prevention strategies that are aimed at improving public health and well-being.