Identification of 370 loci for age at onset of sexual and reproductive behaviour, highlighting common aetiology with reproductive biology, externalizing behaviour and longevity
Melinda C Mills,
Felix C. Tropf,
David M. Brazel,
Natalie van Zuydam,
Tune H Pers,
John R.B. Perry,
Ken K. Ong,
Marcel den Hoed,
Felix R. Day,
on behalf of the Human Reproductive Behaviour Consortium
Posted 07 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.06.081273
Posted 07 May 2020
The timing of reproductive behaviour, age at first sexual intercourse (AFS) and age at first birth (AFB), has implications for reproductive health, adolescent development and evolutionary fitness. In the largest genome-wide association study to date (AFS, N=387,338; AFB, N=542,901), we identify 370 independent signals, 11 which are sex-specific, with a 5-6% polygenic score prediction. Heritability shifted from 10% for those born in 1940 to 23% for the 1965 birth cohort. Using Genomic SEM, we show that signals are largely driven by the genetics of reproductive biology and externalizing behaviour. This is supported by extensive biological follow-up that isolates key genes related to follicle stimulating hormone (FSHB), implantation (ESR1), infertility (endometriosis, spontaneous abortion) and spermatid differentiation, morphogenesis and binding (KLF17, ZPBP). Later AFB is protective against later-life disease (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular) and associated with longevity. Those from higher childhood socioeconomic circumstances and polygenic scores in the highest deciles (90%+) experience markedly later reproductive onset. Results are relevant for interventions in teenage sexual, reproductive and mental health, deepen our understanding of the drivers of later-life health and longevity, and fuel infertility and functional follow-up experiments. ### Competing Interest Statement The main authors declare no competing interests. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health. MMcC (Mark McCarthy) has served on advisory panels for Pfizer, NovoNordisk and Zoe Global, has received honoraria from Merck, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, and research funding from Abbvie, Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, NovoNordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Servier, and Takeda. As of June 2019, MMcC is an employee of Genentech, and a holder of Roche stock.
- Downloaded 1,444 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 16,373
- In genetics: 726
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 10,462
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 36,741
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!