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Does the sex of one's co-twin affect height and BMI in adulthood?: A study of dizygotic adult twins from 31 cohorts
Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles CA, United States.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8768-6954
Institute for Molecular Medicine FIMM, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Number of Authors: 76
2017 (English)In: Biology of Sex Differences, ISSN 2042-6410, Vol. 8, no 1, 14Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The comparison of traits in twins from opposite-sex (OS) and same-sex (SS) dizygotic twin pairs is considered a proxy measure of prenatal hormone exposure. To examine possible prenatal hormonal influences on anthropometric traits, we compared mean height, body mass index (BMI), and the prevalence of being overweight or obese between men and women from OS and SS dizygotic twin pairs.

Methods: The data were derived from the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) database, and included 68,494 SS and 53,808 OS dizygotic twin individuals above the age of 20 years from 31 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. Zygosity was determined by questionnaires or DNA genotyping depending on the study. Multiple regression and logistic regression models adjusted for cohort, age, and birth year with the twin type as a predictor were carried out to compare height and BMI in twins from OS pairs with those from SS pairs and to calculate the adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for being overweight or obese.

Results: OS females were, on average, 0.31 cm (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20, 0.41) taller than SS females. OS males were also, on average, taller than SS males, but this difference was only 0.14 cm (95% CI 0.02, 0.27). Mean BMI and the prevalence of overweight or obesity did not differ between males and females from SS and OS twin pairs. The statistically significant differences between OS and SS twins for height were small and appeared to reflect our large sample size rather than meaningful differences of public health relevance.

Conclusions: We found no evidence to support the hypothesis that prenatal hormonal exposure or postnatal socialization (i.e., having grown up with a twin of the opposite sex) has a major impact on height and BMI in adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2017. Vol. 8, no 1, 14
Keyword [en]
Prenatal hormone exposure, Opposite-sex twins, Height, Body mass index, CODATwins
National Category
Endocrinology and Diabetes Medical Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-57869DOI: 10.1186/s13293-017-0134-xISI: 000400473600001PubMedID: 28465822Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85018185459OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-57869DiVA: diva2:1103911
Note

Funding Agencies:

Centre of Research Excellence from the National Health and Medical Research Council  1079102 

California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program  7RT-0134H  8RT-0107H  6RT-0354H 

National Institutes of Health  1R01ESO15150-01 

National Institute on Aging  1RO1-AG13662-01A2 

NIDA  DA011015 

Longitudinal Twin Study  HD10333 

National Program for Research Infrastructure from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation  

Research Council for Health and Disease  

Velux Foundation  

US National Institute of Health  P01 AG08761 

MagW/ZonMW  04-61-090  985-10-002  912-10-020  904-61-193  480-04-004  463-06-001  451-04-034  400-05-717  Addiction-31160008  Middelgroot-911-09-032  Spinozapremie 56-464-14192 

VU University's Institute for Health and Care Research (EMGO+)  

European Research Council  ERC-230374 

Avera Institute  

Sioux Falls  

South Dakota (USA)  

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism  AA-12502  AA-00145  AA-09203 

Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Complex Disease Genetics  213506  129680 

Academy of Finland  100499  205585  118555  141054  265240  263278  264146 

Osaka University's International Joint Research Promotion Program  

Fund of Scientific Research, Flanders and Twins  

W T Grant Foundation  

University of London Central Research fund  

Medical Research Council Training Fellowship  G81/343 

Career Development Award  G120/635 

Economic and Social Research Council  RES-00022-2206 

Institute of Social Psychiatry  06/07-11 

Leverhulme Research Fellowship  RF/2/RFG/2008/0145 

Goldsmiths, University of London  

Medexpert Ltd., Budapest, Hungary  

Fundacion Seneca, Regional Agency for Science and Technology, Murcia, Spain  08633/PHCS/08  15302/PHCS/10  19479/PI/14 

Ministry of Science and Innovation Spain  PSI2009-11560  PSI2014-56680-R 

National Institute of Mental Health  R01 MH58354 

National Research Foundation of Korea  NRF-371-2011-1 B0004/ 

Kirikkale University, KKU  2009/43 

TUBITAK  114C117 

Washington State Twin Registry  NIH RC2 HL103416 

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science  15H05105 

ENGAGE-European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology  201413    5T32DA01/63/-11 

Available from: 2017-05-31 Created: 2017-05-31 Last updated: 2017-09-18Bibliographically approved

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