Social integration, self-rated health . . . and genes?

TitleSocial integration, self-rated health . . . and genes?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDas, A
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsGenetics, Self Report, Social Support

OBJECTIVE: This study examined genetic roots of later life social integration, and their confounding of this social factor's health linkages.

METHOD: Data were from the 2010 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. Two dimensions of integration were examined: with one's "stakeholder" network of family and friends and with the community. Genetic measures included polygenic scores for extraversion and educational attainment.

RESULTS: Ties to one's stakeholder network had no genetic associations. The extraversion polygenic score was linked to community integration among Blacks as well as Whites. Among the latter, the same was true of one's genetic propensity for educational attainment. Although this score also influenced self-rated health, neither confounded associations of social integration with this indicator.

DISCUSSION: Later life social integration seems influenced by genetically rooted propensities for both sociability and human capital accumulation. Health linkages of integration, however, may not reflect mutual dependencies on the same genetic substrates.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key10069
PubMed ID30819014