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Socioeconomic position (SEP) is a multi-dimensional construct reflecting (and influencing) multiple socio-cultural, physical, and environmental factors. In a sample of 286,301 participants from UK Biobank, we identify 30 (29 previously unreported) independent-loci associated with income. Using a method to meta-analyze data from genetically-correlated traits, we identify an additional 120 income-associated loci. These loci show clear evidence of functionality, with transcriptional differences identified across multiple cortical tissues, and links to GABAergic and serotonergic neurotransmission. By combining our genome wide association study on income with data from eQTL studies and chromatin interactions, 24 genes are prioritized for follow up, 18 of which were previously associated with intelligence. We identify intelligence as one of the likely causal, partly-heritable phenotypes that might bridge the gap between molecular genetic inheritance and phenotypic consequence in terms of income differences. These results indicate that, in modern era Great Britain, genetic effects contribute towards some of the observed socioeconomic inequalities.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-019-13585-5

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Commun

Publication Date

16/12/2019

Volume

10

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Female, Genome-Wide Association Study, Genotype, Humans, Income, Intelligence, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Quantitative Trait Loci, Social Class, United Kingdom