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Cohort Profile: Genetic Data in the German Socio-Economic Panel Innovation Sample (SOEP-G)

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Philipp D. Koellinger, Aysu Okbay, Hyeokmoon Kweon, Annemarie Schweinert, Richard Karlsson Linnér, Jan Goebel, David Richter, Lisa Reiber, Bettina Maria Zweck, Daniel W. Belsky, Pietro Biroli, Rui Mata, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, K. Paige Harden, Gert G. Wagner, Ralph Hertwig

In: PloS one 18 (2023), 11, e0294896, 23 S.


The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) serves a global research community by providing representative annual longitudinal data of respondents living in private households in Germany. The dataset offers a valuable life course panorama, encompassing living conditions, socioeconomic status, familial connections, personality traits, values, preferences, health, and well-being. To amplify research opportunities further, we have extended the SOEP Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS) by collecting genetic data from 2,598 participants, yielding the first genotyped dataset for Germany based on a representative population sample (SOEP-G). The sample includes 107 full-sibling pairs, 501 parent-offspring pairs, and 152 triads, which overlap with the parent-offspring pairs. Leveraging the results from well-powered genome-wide association studies, we created a repository comprising 66 polygenic indices (PGIs) in the SOEP-G sample. We show that the PGIs for height, BMI, and educational attainment capture 22∼24%, 12∼13%, and 9% of the variance in the respective phenotypes. Using the PGIs for height and BMI, we demonstrate that the considerable increase in average height and the decrease in average BMI in more recent birth cohorts cannot be attributed to genetic shifts within the German population or to age effects alone. These findings suggest an important role of improved environmental conditions in driving these changes. Furthermore, we show that higher values in the PGIs for educational attainment and the highest math class are associated with better self-rated health, illustrating complex relationships between genetics, cognition, behavior, socio-economic status, and health. In summary, the SOEP-G data and the PGI repository we created provide a valuable resource for studying individual differences, inequalities, life-course development, health, and interactions between genetic predispositions and the environment.

Topics: Health