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A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of educational attainment was conducted in a discovery sample of 101,069 individuals and a replication sample of 25,490. Three independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are genome-wide significant (rs9320913, rs11584700, rs4851266), and all three replicate. Estimated effects sizes are small (coefficient of determination R(2) ≈ 0.02%), approximately 1 month of schooling per allele. A linear polygenic score from all measured SNPs accounts for ≈2% of the variance in both educational attainment and cognitive function. Genes in the region of the loci have previously been associated with health, cognitive, and central nervous system phenotypes, and bioinformatics analyses suggest the involvement of the anterior caudate nucleus. These findings provide promising candidate SNPs for follow-up work, and our effect size estimates can anchor power analyses in social-science genetics.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1235488

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Date

06/2013

Volume

340

Pages

1467 - 1471

Addresses

Department of Applied Economics, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Keywords

LifeLines Cohort Study, Humans, Cognition, Multifactorial Inheritance, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Educational Status, Female, Male, Genome-Wide Association Study, Genetic Loci, Endophenotypes