Geographic clustering of polygenic scores at different stages of the life course

Benjamin W. Domingue, David H. Rehkopf, Dalton Conley, Jason D. Boardman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We interrogate state-level clustering of polygenic scores at different points in the life course and variation in the association of mean polygenic scores in a respondent's state of birth with corresponding phenotypes. The polygenic scores for height and smoking show the most state-level clustering (2 to 4 percent) with relatively little clustering observed for the other scores. However, even the small amounts of observed clustering are potentially meaningful. The state-mean polygenic score for educational attainment is strongly associated with an individual's educational attainment net of that person's polygenic score. The ecological clustering of polygenic scores may denote a new environmental factor in gene-environment research. We conclude by discussing possible mechanisms that underlie this association and the implications of our findings for social and genetic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Polygenic scores


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