Polygenic Risk for Insomnia in Adolescents of Diverse Ancestry

Tengfei Ma, Honglei Chen, Qing Lu, Xiaoran Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Insomnia is a common mental disorder, affecting nearly one fifth of the pre-adult population in the United States. The recent, largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted on the United Kingdom Biobank cohort identified hundreds of significant single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), allowing the epidemiologists to quantify individual genetic predisposition in the subsequent studies via the polygenic risk scoring technique. The nucleotide polymorphisms and risk scoring, while being able to generalize to other adult populations of European origin, are not yet tested on pediatric and adolescent populations of diverse racial-ethnic backgrounds, and our study intends to fill these gaps. Materials and Methods: We took the summary of the same United Kingdom Biobank study and conducted a polygenic risk score (PRS) analysis on a multi-ethnicity, pre-adult population provided by the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Results: The PRSs according to the significant nucleotide polymorphisms found in white British adults is a strong predictor of insomnia in children of similar European background but lacks power in non-European groups. Conclusions: Through polygenic risk scoring, the knowledge of insomnia genetics summarized from a white adult study population is transferable to a younger age group, which aids the search of actionable targets of early insomnia prevention. Yet population stratification may prevent the easy generalization across ethnic lines; therefore, it is necessary to conduct group specific studies to aid people of non-European genetic background.

Original languageEnglish
Article number654717
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
StatePublished - May 10 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Ma, Chen, Lu and Tong.


  • adolescent
  • ancestry
  • genetic
  • insomnia
  • polygenic risk score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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