Journal article

An epigenome-wide association study meta-analysis of educational attainment

R Karlsson Linner, RE Marioni, CA Rietveld, AJ Simpkin, NM Davies, K Watanabe, NJ Armstrong, K Auro, C Baumbach, MJ Bonder, J Buchwald, G Fiorito, K Ismail, S Iurato, A Joensuu, P Karell, S Kasela, J Lahti, AF Mcrae, PR Mandaviya Show all



The epigenome is associated with biological factors, such as disease status, and environmental factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index. Although there is a widespread perception that environmental influences on the epigenome are pervasive and profound, there has been little evidence to date in humans with respect to environmental factors that are biologically distal. Here we provide evidence on the associations between epigenetic modifications-in our case, CpG methylation-and educational attainment (EA), a biologically distal environmental factor that is arguably among the most important life-shaping experiences for individuals. Specifically, we report the results o..

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Awarded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Awarded by Economic and Social Research Council

Awarded by Medical Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

This research was carried out under the auspices of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC). The SSGAC seeks to facilitate studies that investigate the influence of genes on human behavior, well-being and socialscientific outcomes using large genome-wide association study meta-analyses. The SSGAC also provides opportunities for replication and promotes the collection of accurately measured, harmonized phenotypes across cohorts. The SSGAC operates as a working group within the CHARGE consortium. A full list of acknowledgments is provided in Supplementary Note. Upon publication, results can be downloaded from the SSGAC website ( Data for our analyses come from many studies and organizations, some of which are subject to a MTA, and are listed in the Supplementary Note. We thank Aysu Okbay for conducting the meta-analyses for the SNP polygenic scores. The data were accessed under Section 4 of the Data Sharing Agreement of the SSGAC.