Polygenic risk score for schizophrenia was not associated with glycemic level (HbA1c) in patients with non-affective psychosis: Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis (GROUP) cohort study

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Introduction: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a common comorbidity in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). The underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated, although it can be argued that shared genes, environmental factors or their interaction effect are involved. This study investigated the association between polygenic risk score of SCZ (PRSSCZ) and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) while adjusting for polygenic risk score of T2D (PRST2D), and clinical and demographic covariables. Methods: Genotype, clinical and demographic data of 1129 patients with non-affective psychosis were extracted from Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis (GROUP) cohort study. The glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was the outcome. PRS was calculated using standard methods. Univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses were applied to estimate associations. Additionally, sensitivity analysis based on multiple imputation was done. After correction for multiple testing, a two-sided p-value ≤.003 was considered to discover evidence for an association. Results: Of 1129 patients, 75.8% were male with median age of 29 years. The mean (standard deviation) HbA1c level was 35.1 (5.9) mmol/mol. There was no evidence for an association between high HbA1c level and increased PRSSCZ (adjusted regression coefficient (aβ) = 0.69, standard error (SE) = 0.77, p-value =.37). On the other hand, there was evidence for an association between high HbA1c level and increased PRST2D (aβ = 0.93, SE = 0.32, p-value =.004), body mass index (aβ = 0.20, SE = 0.08, p-value =.01), diastolic blood pressure (aβ = 0.08, SE = 0.04, p-value =.03), late age of first psychosis onset (aβ = 0.19, SE = 0.05, p-value =.0004) and male gender (aβ = 1.58, SE = 0.81, p-value =.05). After multiple testing correction, there was evidence for an association between high HbA1c level and late age of first psychosis onset. Evidence for interaction effect between PRSscz and antipsychotics was not observed. The multiple imputation-based sensitivity analysis provided consistent results with complete case analysis. Conclusions: Glycemic dysregulation in patients with SCZ was not associated with PRSSCZ. This suggests that the mechanisms of hyperglycemia or diabetes are at least partly independent from genetic predisposition to SCZ. Our findings show that the change in HbA1c level can be caused by at least in part due to PRST2D, late age of illness onset, male gender, and increased body mass index and diastolic blood pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109968
JournalJournal of psychosomatic research
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Antipsychotics
  • Diabetes
  • Polygenic risk score
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

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