Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

GWAS on hand grip strength: new insights into the genetics of muscular strength support a strong genetic component at different ages

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Introduction: Hand grip strength (HGS) is a widespread proxy for muscular strength and a predictor of cardiovascular disease and poor health outcomes. Genetic studies in adult cohorts (e.g. UK Biobank) found multiple genes associated with HGS and showed a modest heritability (h2~24%). However, the genetics of HGS remains largely elusive and has never been explored in a cohort of young individuals. Materials and Methods: We performed GWAS analyses on three measures of HGS in the ALSPAC dataset (N~5,400, mean age = 11.8 years), namely HGS for the right and left hand and grip strength maximal, i.e. best result regardless of the hand used. Analyses were performed in PLINK and functional mapping with FUMA. Genetic correlations and SNP-heritability were computed with LD Score Regression using summary statistics from UK Biobank. Results: We reported a novel genome-wide significant hit for HGS (rs2968991, p < 1.75E-08) with the right hand and we replicated a common association in UK Biobank for the three traits (p < 1E-06). We reported a higher SNP-heritability than previous studies and highlighted a moderate-to-high genetic correlation between HGS in the current study and in the UK Biobank. Conclusions: In addition to a novel association, our analysis replicated some of the associations previously reported both at pathway (skeletal muscle fibres and neurological disorders pathways) and gene-specific (HOXB3) level. This, together with the modest-to-high genetic correlation with HGS in the UK Biobank suggests a stable genetic component of HGS at different ages. This work was funded by the Royal Society.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberP10.26.C
Pages (from-to)432-433
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Event53rd European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) Conference - Virtual
Duration: 6 Jun 20209 Jun 2020
Conference number: 53

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A rare missense variant in the ATP2C2 gene is associated with language impairment and related measures

    Martinelli, A., Rice, M., Talcott, J. B., Diaz, R., Smith, S., Hashim Raza, M., Snowling, M. J., Hulme, C., Stein, J., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Hawi, Z., Kent, L., Pitt, S. J., Newbury, D. F. & Paracchini, S., 16 Apr 2021, In: Human Molecular Genetics. In press, ddab111.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Handedness in Twins: Meta-Analyses

    Paracchini, S., 2021, In: PsyArXiv.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Hand preference and mathematical learning difficulties: New data from Greece, the United Kingdom, and Germany and two meta-analyses of the literature

    Papadatou-Pastou, M., Panagiotidou, D-A., Abbondanza, F., Fischer, U., Paracchini, S. & Karagiannakis, G., 2021, In: Laterality. 54 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Dissecting genetic factors involved in the relation between behavioural laterality and neurodevelopmental conditions

    Schmitz, J., Zheng, M., Lui, K. F. H., Ho, C. S. H., McBride, C. & Paracchini, S., 1 Dec 2020, In: European Journal of Human Genetics. 28, Suppl 1, p. 370-371 2 p., P09.005.C.

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review

  2. Genetic analysis of dyslexia candidate genes in the European cross-linguistic NeuroDys cohort

    Becker, J., Czamara, D., Scerri, T. S., Ramus, F., Csépe, V., Talcott, J. B., Stein, J., Morris, A., Ludwig, K. U., Hoffmann, P., Honbolygó, F., Tóth, D., Fauchereau, F., Bogliotti, C., Iannuzzi, S., Chaix, Y., Valdois, S., Billard, C., George, F., Soares-Boucaud, I. & 21 others, Gérard, C-L., van der Mark, S., Schulz, E., Vaessen, A., Maurer, U., Lohvansuu, K., Lyytinen, H., Zucchelli, M., Brandeis, D., Blomert, L., Leppänen, P. H., Bruder, J., Monaco, A. P., Müller-Myhsok, B., Kere, J., Landerl, K., Nöthen, M. M., Schulte-Körne, G., Paracchini, S., Peyrard-Janvid, M. & Schumacher, J., May 2014, In: European Journal of Human Genetics. 22, 5, p. 675-680

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Shining a light on CNTNAP2: complex functions to complex disorders

    Rodenas-Cuadrado, P., Ho, J. & Vernes, S. C., Feb 2014, In: European Journal of Human Genetics. 22, 2, p. 171-8 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  4. Assessing the impact of FOXP1 mutations on developmental verbal dyspraxia

    Vernes, S. C., MacDermot, K. D., Monaco, A. P. & Fisher, S. E., Oct 2009, In: European Journal of Human Genetics. 17, 10, p. 1354-8 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 272467967