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Heritability

From SNPedia

Heritability is defined as the degree to which individual genetic variation accounts for phenotypic variation seen in a population. In a scientifically sloppy sense, it's somewhat (mis)used to give a sense of what proportion of your risk for a given disease is derived from your genes (as opposed to non-genetic influences, such as your environment, diet, etc). Wikipedia

Most heritability estimates have been based on family (and twin) studies. An approach developed more recently ([PMID 25383972]) estimates heritability based on unrelated individuals of mixed ethnic ("admixed") backgrounds. This approach appears to indicate lower heritability than is estimated from twin studies; for example, heritability estimates for height and body mass index are 0.55 and 0.23, respectively, compared to the ~0.80 and ~0.50 estimates from twin studies. If heritability is lower than classically thought, the proportion of genetic variance explained by SNP studies is actually significantly higher - relatively common SNPs may explain most genetic variation.

It is important to remember that high heritability does not imply that a trait or disease is inevitable. In fact, some highly heritable traits can be modified by simple changes in the environment. Phenylketonuria (PKU), for example, is a genetic disease with high heritability that can be strongly influenced by a relatively straightforward change in diet (restricting intake of the amino acid phenylalanine). Even if Alzheimer's disease has a relatively high heritability, environmental factors and changes may alter disease progression and severity.

Heritability estimates for selected medical conditions present in SNPedia are summarized below; an independent source of information about heritability in humans (as well as other species) can be found at H2DB.

Medical Condition / Topic Heritability Est. References
Abdominal aortic aneurysm 71% [PMID 19939604OA-icon.png]
Acne 81% [PMID 12485434OA-icon.png]
Age-related macular degeneration 49 - 71% [PMID 9869796]
Alcoholism 50 - 60% [PMID 19785977]
Alzheimer's disease 58 - 79% [PMID 16461860]
Androgenic alopecia (females) 80% [PMID 18849991OA-icon.png]
Anorexia nervosa 57 - 79% [PMID 19828139]
Asthma 30% [PMID 16117840]
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 70% [PMID 22833045]
Autism 30 - 90% [PMID 17033636]
Balding 39% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Beard thickness 74% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Bipolar disorder 70% [PMID 14601036]
Bladder cancer 7 - 31% [PMID 21927616]
Blood pressure, diastolic 49% [PMID 19858476]
Blood pressure, systolic 30% [PMID 22479213]
Body mass index 23 - 51% [PMID 25383972, PMID 18271028]
Bone mineral density 44 - 87% [PMID 15750698, PMID 16025191]
Breast cancer 25 - 56% [PMID 11979442, PMID 2491011]
Celiac disease 57 - 87% [PMID 16354797]
Cervical cancer 22% [PMID 11979442]
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 76% [PMID 20541380]
Colon cancer 13% [PMID 11979442]
Coronary artery disease 49% [PMID 15710764]
Crohn's disease 53% [PMID 3396969]
Depression 50% [PMID 15877306]
Eczema (adults) 61% [PMID 11742265]
Eczema (children) 90% [PMID 17215318OA-icon.png]
Epilepsy 70 - 88% [PMID 11325572]
Eye color 98% [PMID 9152135]
Eyebrow thickness 37% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Freckle counts 91% [PMID 10716963OA-icon.png]
Gallstone disease 25% [PMID 15747383]
Glaucoma 36 - 57% [PMID 14691154]
Graves' disease 79% [PMID 11158069]
Hair color 100% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Hair curliness (Hair shape) 64-95% [PMID 19803779],10.1038/ncomms10815
Hair graying 27% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Handedness 24% [PMID 26063907]
Hangover 24-45% [PMID 25098862]
Heart disease 34 - 53% [PMID 10892820]
Height 55 - 81% [PMID 25383972, PMID 18271028]
Hypertension 30% [PMID 15808811]
Insomnia 48% [PMID 22704400]
Irritable bowel syndrome "little"? or 44% for females? [PMID 15929767, PMID 17008364]
Leukemia 1% [PMID 11979442]
Longevity 26% [PMID 8786073]
Lung cancer 8% [PMID 11979442]
Lupus 44 - 66% [PMID 17136562, PMID 3430520]
Menarche, age at 50 - 70% [PMID 17541737, PMID 17680356]
Menopause, age at 47% [PMID 19858476]
Migraine 53% [PMID 22678113]
Monobrow 74% 10.1038/ncomms10815
Nicotine dependence 60% [PMID 17888884]
Obesity 70% [PMID 16987875]
Osteoarthritis 30 - 65% [PMID 8616305, PMID 12855031, PMID 19153142]
Ovarian cancer 40% [PMID 2491011]
Pain 46% [PMID 20525736OA-icon.png]
Parkinson's disease 25 - 30% [PMID 21738487]
Periodontitis 42% [PMID 19648170]
Polycystic ovary syndrome 72% [PMID 16219714]
Prostate cancer 42% [PMID 12642065]
Psoriasis 66% [PMID 17958839]
QT interval 34 - 50% [PMID 17565224, PMID 11260226]
Rheumatoid arthritis 55% [PMID 18835879]
Rosacea 46% [PMID 26307938]
Schizophrenia 81% [PMID 14662550]
Sciatica 20% [PMID 2605032]
Sexual orientation 60% [PMID 11058483]
Stomach cancer 1% [PMID 11979442]
Stroke 32% [PMID 11872902]
Stuttering 71 - 80% [PMID 11235981, PMID 15836814]
Testicular cancer 25% [PMID 11979442]
Thyroid cancer 53% [PMID 11979442]
Type-1 diabetes 88% [PMID 12663480]
Type-2 diabetes 26% [PMID 10064092]
Varicose veins 86% [PMID 15744037OA-icon.png]

[PMID 25985137] Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies.