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Nature Research, Nature Genetics, 11(47), p. 1357-1362

DOI: 10.1038/ng.3401



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Population genetic differentiation of height and body mass index across Europe

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This paper is available in a repository.

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Across-nation differences in the mean of complex traits such as obesity and stature are common1–8, but the reasons for these differences are not known. Here, we find evidence that many independent loci of small effect combine to create population genetic differences in height and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 9,416 individuals across 14 European countries. Using discovery data on over 250,000 individuals and unbiased estimates of effect sizes from 17,500 sib pairs, we estimate that 24% (95% CI: 9%, 41%) and 8% (95% CI: 4%, 16%) of the captured additive genetic variance for height and BMI across Europe are attributed to among-population genetic differences. Population genetic divergence differed significantly from that expected under a null model (P