Polygenic prediction and GWAS of depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation/self-harm in a Peruvian cohort

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020 Sep;45(10):1595-1602. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0603-5. Epub 2020 Jan 11.


Genome-wide approaches including polygenic risk scores (PRSs) are now widely used in medical research; however, few studies have been conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), especially in South America. This study was designed to test the transferability of psychiatric PRSs to individuals with different ancestral and cultural backgrounds and to provide genome-wide association study (GWAS) results for psychiatric outcomes in this sample. The PrOMIS cohort (N = 3308) was recruited from prenatal care clinics at the Instituto Nacional Materno Perinatal (INMP) in Lima, Peru. Three major psychiatric outcomes (depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation and/or self-harm) were scored by interviewers using valid Spanish questionnaires. Illumina Multi-Ethnic Global chip was used for genotyping. Standard procedures for PRSs and GWAS were used along with extra steps to rule out confounding due to ancestry. Depression PRSs significantly predicted depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation/self-harm and explained up to 0.6% of phenotypic variation (minimum p = 3.9 × 10-6). The associations were robust to sensitivity analyses using more homogeneous subgroups of participants and alternative choices of principal components. Successful polygenic prediction of three psychiatric phenotypes in this Peruvian cohort suggests that genetic influences on depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation/self-harm are at least partially shared across global populations. These PRS and GWAS results from this large Peruvian cohort advance genetic research (and the potential for improved treatments) for diverse global populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't