Genome-wide genetic homogeneity between sexes and populations for human height and body mass index.

Seks-specific genetic effects have been proposed to be an important source of variation for human complex traits. Here we use two distinct genome-wide methods to estimate the autosomal genetic correlation (rg) between men and women for human height and body mass index (BMI), using individual-level (n = ∼44 000) and summary-level (n = ∼133 000) data from genome-wide association studies. Results are consistent and show that the between-seks genetic correlation is not significantly different from unity for both traits. In contrast, we find evidence of genetic heterogeneity between sexes for waist-hip ratio (rg = ∼0.7) and between populations for BMI (rg = ∼0.9 between Europe and the USA) but not for height. The lack of evidence for substantial genetic heterogeneity for body size is consistent with empirical findings across traits and species.

year of publication



  • Hum Mol Genet.


  • Yang, J
  • Bakshi, A
  • Zhu, Z
  • Hemani, G
  • Vinkhuyzen, AA
  • Nolte, IM
  • et al.

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