HRS Polygenic Scores 2006-2010 Genetic Data

The HRS Polygenic Scores 2006-2010 Genetic Data (Final, Version 1.0) is now available.

The guide describes the construction of polygenic scores (PGSs) for a variety of phenotypes for HRS respondents who provided salivary DNA between 2006 and 2010. These scores serve as an attempt to harmonize research across studies and facilitate use among HRS data users by making these scores available publicly. PGSs for each phenotype are based on a single, replicated genome-wide association study (GWAS). These scores will be updated as sufficiently large GWAS are published for new phenotypes or as meta-analyses for existing phenotypes are updated. This document describes the general method of construction with details on each phenotype included as appendices. Please see the data description for more information.

Complex health outcomes or behaviors of interest to the research community are often highly polygenic, or reflect the aggregate effect of many different genes so the use of single genetic variants or candidate genes may not capture the dynamic nature of more complex phenotypes. A PGS aggregates thousands to millions of individual loci across the human genome and weights them by effect sizes, often derived from a GWAS, as an estimate of the strength of their association to produce a single quantitative measure of genetic risk and to increase power in genetic analyses.