For Twins

Quasi-causal associations between chronotype and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms: A twin study

McCall CA, Turkheimer E, Tsang S, Avery A, Duncan GE, Watson NF. Objective The evening (“night owl”) chronotype is associated with greater severity and lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms compared to morning or intermediate chronotypes. This twin study investigated the gene-environment relationships between chronotype, recent PTSD symptoms, and lifetime intrusive symptoms. Methods […]

Cross-Sectional Study of Location-Based Built Environments, Physical Activity, Dietary Intake, and Body Mass Index in Adult Twins

Duncan GE, Sun F, Avery AR, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Tsang S, Williams BD. We examined relationships between walkability and health behaviors between and within identical twin pairs, considering both home (neighborhood) walkability and each twin’s measured activity space. Continuous activity and location data (via accelerometry and GPS) were obtained in 79 pairs over 2 […]

Sex differences in lifetime prevalence of low back pain: A multinational study of opposite-sex twin pairs

Calais-Ferreira L, Pozzobon D, Pinheiro MB, Blyth FM, Ordoñana JR, Duncan GE, Hopper JL, Ferreira PH, Ferreira ML. Background Low back pain (LBP) is more likely to occur in people with a family history of this condition, highlighting the importance of accounting for familial factors when studying the individual risk of LBP. We conducted a […]

Epigenome-wide association study of physical activity and physiological parameters in discordant monozygotic twins

Duncan GE, Avery A, Thorson JLM, Nilsson EE, Beck D, Skinner MK. An epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) was performed on buccal cells from monozygotic-twins (MZ) reared together as children, but who live apart as adults. Cohorts of twin pairs were used to investigate associations between neighborhood walkability and objectively measured physical activity (PA) levels. Due […]

Cross-sectional associations between neighbourhood walkability and objective physical activity levels in identical twins

Duncan GE, Avery AR, Hurvitz P, Vernez-Moudon A, Tsang S Objectives  Physical activity is a cornerstone of chronic disease prevention and treatment, yet most US adults do not perform levels recommended for health. The neighborhood–built environment (BE) may support or hinder physical activity levels. This study investigated whether identical twins who reside in more walkable […]

Positive lifestyle behaviours and emotional health factors are associated with low back pain resilience

Roberts KE, Beckenkamp PR, Ferreira ML, Duncan GE, Calais-Ferreira L, Gatt JM, Ferreira P. Purpose To evaluate the relationship between lifestyle behaviours, emotional health factors, and low back pain (LBP) resilience. Methods This retrospective longitudinal study utilised 1,065 twins with a recent history of LBP from the Washington State Twin Registry. A lifestyle behaviour score […]

The pillars of health: influence of multiple lifestyle behaviors on body mass index and depressive symptoms in adult twins

Duncan GE, Avery AR, Tsang S, Watson NF, Williams BD, Turkheimer E. Background Guidelines promoting healthy lifestyles are cornerstones of chronic disease prevention and treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate independent and joint associations of five key health behaviors with health outcomes (body mass index (BMI kg/m2) and depressive symptoms) in adult […]

Reassessing relationships between appetite and adiposity in people at risk of obesity: a twin study using fMRI

Sewaybricker LE, Melhorn SJ, Rosenbaum JL, Askren MK, Tyagi V, Webb MF, De Leon MRB, Grabowski TJ, Schur EA Background Neuroimaging studies suggest that appetitive drive is enhanced in obesity. Objective To test if appetitive drive varies in direct proportion to the level of body adiposity after accounting for genetic factors that contribute to both […]

GPS-based built environment measures associated with adult physical activity

Boakye KA, Amram O, Schuna JM, Duncan GE, Hystad P. Studies often rely on home locations to access built environment (BE) influences on physical activity (PA). We use GPS and accelerometer data collected for 288 individuals over a two-week period to examine eight GPS-derived BE characteristics and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and light-to-moderate-vigorous PA (LMVPA). NDVI, […]

Measurement of neighborhood-based physical activity bouts

Duncan GE, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Avery AR, Tsang S. This study examined how buffer type (shape), size, and the allocation of activity bouts inside buffers that delineate the neighborhood spatially produce different estimates of neighborhood-based physical activity. A sample of 375 adults wore a global positioning system (GPS) data logger and accelerometer over 2 […]

Genetic and environmental influences on posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and disinhibited eating behaviors

Afari N, Gasperi M, Dochat C, Wooldridge JS, Herbert MS, Schur EA, Buchwald DS. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders (ED) frequently co-occur, but the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. EDs are characterized by features of maladaptive eating behaviors including disinhibited eating and cognitive dietary restraint. Identifying the genetic overlap between PTSD symptoms […]

Central and Peripheral Symptoms in Network Analysis are Differentially Heritable A Twin Study of Anxious Misery

Olatunji BO, Christian C, Strachan E, Levinson CA. Background Evidence suggests that depression and anxiety disorders are genetically based. Although symptoms of these internalizing disorders tend to correlate, the degree to which the related symptoms are heritable is unclear. This overlap has been conceptualized as Anxious Misery and existing research examining similar constructs of negative […]

Affectionate Communication findings

We are happy to share that a manuscript using data from the affectionate communication study has been published. Within twin pairs, identical twins were more highly correlated for expressed and received affection than fraternal twins, suggesting genetic influences play a role in affection. Using an ACE model, which is used in twin studies to estimate […]

Associations between changes in resilient coping and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms

Sinclair VG, Adams SM, Dietrich M. The pervasive, damaging nature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents enormous clinical challenges. Understanding the relationship between patients’ perceptions of PTSD symptoms and resilient coping strategies may prompt investigation of clinical interventions that improve adaptive, resilient coping skills. In this study, we examined whether changes in resilient coping were […]

Heritability of affectionate communication: A twins study

Floyd K, York C, Ray CD. Using a twin study design, we explored the extent to which affectionate communication is a heritable behavioral trait. Participants (N = 928) were 464 adult twin pairs (229 monozygotic, 235 dizygotic) who provided data on their affectionate communication behaviors. Through ACE modeling, we determined that approximately 45% of the variance in trait expressed […]

Insomnia and posttraumatic stress symptoms: Evidence of shared etiology

Cox RC, Taylor S, Strachan E, Olatunji BO. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia are comorbid clinical conditions that are thought to result from genetic and environmental effects. Though studies have established the heritability of these disorders independently, no study to date has examined the genetic contributions to the relation between insomnia and PTSD symptoms […]

Global metabolic profiling to model biological processes of aging in twins

Bunning BJ, Contrepois K, Lee-McMullen B, Dhondalay GKR, Zhang W, Tupa D, Raeber O, Desai M, Nadeau KC, Snyder MP, Andorf S. Aging is intimately linked to system-wide metabolic changes that can be captured in blood. Understanding biological processes of aging in humans could help maintain a healthy aging trajectory and promote longevity. We performed […]

Genome-wide profiling of DNA methylome and transcriptome in peripheral blood monocytes for major depression: A Monozygotic Discordant Twin Study

Zhu Y, Strachan E, Fowler E, Bacus T, Roy-Byrne P, Zhao J. DNA methylation plays an important role in major depressive disorder (MDD), but the specific genes and genomic regions associated with MDD remain largely unknown. Here we conducted genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation (Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip) and gene expression (RNA-seq) in peripheral blood monocytes […]

Cohort Profile: TWINS study of environment, lifestyle behaviours and health

Duncan GE, Avery A, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Tsang S, Turkheimer E. The role of built and social environments in supporting healthy lifestyles has received increased attention over the past decade, as research and prevention paradigms have shifted from a focus on individual-level behaviour change to macro-level influences embedded within social-ecological models of health that […]

Sleep Duration and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A Twin Study

McCall CA, Turkheimer E, Tsang S, Avery A, Duncan GE, Watson NF. Study Objectives Long and short sleep duration are associated with greater risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, it is unknown how genetic and environmental influences impact this relationship. Thus, we investigated the association between sleep duration and PTSD symptoms using twin […]