The CODATwins Project: The Current Status and Recent Findings of COllaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins

The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural-geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.

Silventoinen K, Jelenkovic A, Yokoyama Y, Sund R, Sugawara M, Tanaka M, Matsumoto S, Bogl LH, Freitas DL, Maia JA, Hjelmborg JVB, Aaltonen S, Piirtola M, Latvala A, Calais-Ferreira L, Oliveira VC, Ferreira PH, Ji F, Ning F, Pang Z, Ordoñana JR, Sánchez-Romera JF, Colodro-Conde L, Burt SA, Klump KL, Martin NG, Medland SE, Montgomery GW, Kandler C, McAdams TA, Eley TC, Gregory AM, Saudino KJ, Dubois L, Boivin M, Brendgen M, Dionne G, Vitaro F, Tarnoki AD, Tarnoki DL, Haworth CMA, Plomin R, Öncel SY, Aliev F, Medda E, Nisticò L, Toccaceli V, Craig JM, Saffery R, Siribaddana SH, Hotopf M, Sumathipala A, Rijsdijk F, Jeong HU, Spector T, Mangino M, Lachance G, Gatz M, Butler DA, Gao W, Yu C, Li L, Bayasgalan G, Narandalai D, Harden KP, Tucker-Drob EM, Christensen K, Skytthe A, Kyvik KO, Derom CA, Vlietinck RF, Loos RJF, Cozen W, Hwang AE, Mack TM, He M, Ding X, Silberg JL, Maes HH, Cutler TL, Hopper JL, Magnusson PKE, Pedersen NL, Dahl Aslan AK, Baker LA, Tuvblad C, Bjerregaard-Andersen M, Beck-Nielsen H, Sodemann M, Ullemar V, Almqvist C, Tan Q, Zhang D, Swan GE, Krasnow R, Jang KL, Knafo-Noam A, Mankuta D, Abramson L, Lichtenstein P, Krueger RF, McGue M, Pahlen S, Tynelius P, Rasmussen F, Duncan GE, Buchwald D, Corley RP, Huibregtse BM, Nelson TL, Whitfield KE, Franz CE, Kremen WS, Lyons MJ, Ooki S, Brandt I, Nilsen TS, Harris JR, Sung J, Park HA, Lee J, Lee SJ, Willemsen G, Bartels M, van Beijsterveldt CEM, Llewellyn CH, Fisher A, Rebato E, Busjahn A, Tomizawa R, Inui F, Watanabe M, Honda C, Sakai N, Hur YM, Sørensen TIA, Boomsma DI, Kaprio J. The CODATwins Project: The Current Status and Recent Findings of COllaborative Project of Development of Anthropometrical Measures in Twins. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2019 Dec;22(6):800-808. PMC7775258.