Genome-wide association studies identify polygenic effects for completed suicide in the Japanese population

Ikuo Otsuka, Masato Akiyama, Osamu Shirakawa, Satoshi Okazaki, Yukihide Momozawa, Yoichiro Kamatani, Takeshi Izumi, Shusuke Numata, Motonori Takahashi, Shuken Boku, Ichiro Sora, Ken Yamamoto, Yasuhiro Ueno, Tatsushi Toda, Michiaki Kubo, Akitoyo Hishimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a significant public health problem worldwide, and several Asian countries including Japan have relatively high suicide rates on a world scale. Twin, family, and adoption studies have suggested high heritability for suicide, but genetics lags behind due to difficulty in obtaining samples from individuals who died by suicide, especially in non-European populations. In this study, we carried out genome-wide association studies combining two independent datasets totaling 746 suicides and 14,049 non-suicide controls in the Japanese population. Although we identified no genome-wide significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we demonstrated significant SNP-based heritability (35–48%; P < 0.001) for completed suicide by genomic restricted maximum-likelihood analysis and a shared genetic risk between two datasets (Pbest = 2.7 × 10−13) by polygenic risk score analysis. This study is the first genome-wide association study for suicidal behavior in an East Asian population, and our results provided the evidence of polygenic architecture underlying completed suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2119-2124
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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