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Approved research

Using genetics to elucidate the relationship between socioeconomic/behavioural traits and disease

Principal Investigator: Dr John Perry
Approved Research ID: 9905
Approval date: December 1st 2014

Lay summary

Socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with a broad range of disease outcomes, however the specific mechanisms and nature of associations is poorly understood. Given recent studies that have highlighted a heritable component to many SES traits, we plan to use UK Biobank to identify specific genetic factors that influence SES and behavioural traits, and test the impact these have on disease risk. Identifying how socioeconomic and behavioural factors impact biomedical traits may lead to improvements in the prediction and prevention of major diseases. We plan to identify genetic variants associated with behavioural traits (e.g. temperament) and components of SES such as education, deprivation and income. These can then in turn be used as un-confounded proxy measures of these traits to assess the impact SES/behaviour has on disease risk. We will select diseases to assess with the genetic instrument by identifying any diseases in UK Biobank significantly correlated with components of SES. We plan to use the entire dataset of both males and females to maximise statistical power.