Genome-wide association studies of posttraumatic stress disorder in 2 cohorts of US army soldiers

Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS) Collaborators

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131 Scopus citations

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent, serious public health concern, particularly in the military. The identification of genetic risk factors for PTSD may provide important insights into the biological foundation of vulnerability and comorbidity. OBJECTIVE: To discover genetic loci associated with the lifetime risk for PTSD in 2 cohorts from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Two coordinated genome-wide association studies of mental health in the US military contributed participants. The New Soldier Study (NSS) included 3167 unique participants with PTSD and 4607 trauma-exposed control individuals; the Pre/Post Deployment Study (PPDS) included 947 unique participants with PTSD and 4969 trauma-exposed controls. The NSS data were collected from February 1, 2011, to November 30, 2012; the PDDS data, from January 9 to April 30, 2012. The primary analysis compared lifetime DSM-IV PTSD cases with trauma-exposed controls without lifetime PTSD. Data were analyzed from March 18 to December 27,2015. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Association analyses for PTSD used logistic regression models within each of 3 ancestral groups (European, African, and Latino American) by study, followed by meta-analysis. Heritability and genetic correlation and pleiotropy with other psychiatric and immune-related disorders were estimated. RESULTS: The NSS population was 80.7% male (6277 of 7774 participants; mean [SD] age, 20.9 [3.3] years); the PPDS population, 94.4% male (5583 of 5916 participants; mean [SD] age, 26.5 [6.0] years). A genome-wide significant locus was found in ANKRD55 on chromosome 5 (rs159572; odds ratio [OR], 1.62; 95% CI, 1.37-1.92; P = 2.34 × 10-8) and persisted after adjustment for cumulative trauma exposure (adjusted OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.39-1.95; P = 1.18 × 10-8)inthe African American samples from the NSS. A genome-wide significant locus was also found in or near ZNF626 on chromosome 19 (rs11085374; OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.70-0.85; P = 4.59 × 10-8) in the European American samples from the NSS. Similar results were not found for either single-nucleotide polymorphism in the corresponding ancestry group from the PPDS sample, in other ancestral groups, or in transancestral metaanalyses. Single-nucleotide polymorphism-based heritability was nonsignificant, and no significant genetic correlations were observed between PTSD and 6 mental disorders or 9 immune-related disorders. Significant evidence of pleiotropy was observed between PTSD and rheumatoid arthritis and, to a lesser extent, psoriasis. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In the largest genome-wide association study of PTSD to date, involving a US military sample, limited evidence of association for specific loci was found. Further efforts are needed to replicate the genome-wide significant association with ANKRD55-associated in prior research with several autoimmune and inflammatory disorders- and to clarify the nature of the genetic overlap observed between PTSD and rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-704
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA Psychiatry
Volume73
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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