Portability of Polygenic Risk Scores for Sleep Duration, Insomnia and Chronotype in 33,493 Individuals

Clocks Sleep. 2022 Dec 30;5(1):10-20. doi: 10.3390/clockssleep5010002.


Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) estimate genetic liability for diseases and traits. However, the portability of PRSs in sleep traits has remained elusive. We generated PRSs for self-reported insomnia, chronotype and sleep duration using summary data from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) performed in 350,000 to 697,000 European-ancestry individuals. We then projected the scores in two independent Finnish population cohorts (N = 33,493) and tested whether the PRSs were associated with their respective sleep traits. We observed that all the generated PRSs were associated with their corresponding traits (p < 0.05 in all cases). Furthermore, we found that there was a 22.2 min difference in reported sleep between the 5% tails of the PRS for sleep duration (p < 0.001). Our findings indicate that sleep-related PRSs show portability across cohorts. The findings also demonstrate that sleep measures using PRSs for sleep behaviors may provide useful instruments for testing disease and trait associations in cohorts where direct sleep parameters have not yet been measured.

Keywords: PRS; circadian rhythms; eveningness; insomnia symptoms; morningness; polygenic score.