Brendan Bulik-Sullivan, Hilary K Finucane, Verneri Anttila, Alexander Gusev, Felix R Day, ReproGen Consortium, Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Genetic Consortium for Anorexia Nervosa of the Wellcome Trust Consortium 3, John R.B. Perry, Nick Patterson, Elise Robinson, Mark J Daly, Alkes L Price, Benjamin M Neale
Identifying genetic correlations between complex traits and diseases can provide useful etiological insights and help prioritize likely causal relationships. The major challenges preventing estimation of genetic correlation from genome-wide association study (GWAS) data with current methods are the lack of availability of individual genotype data and widespread sample overlap among meta-analyses. We circumvent these difficulties by introducing a technique for estimating genetic correlation that requires only GWAS summary statistics and is not biased by sample overlap. We use our method to estimate 300 genetic correlations among 25 traits, totaling more than 1.5 million unique phenotype measurements. Our results include genetic correlations between anorexia nervosa and schizophrenia/ body mass index and associations between educational attainment and several diseases. These results highlight the power of a polygenic modeling framework, since there currently are no genome-wide significant SNPs for anorexia nervosa and only three for educational attainment.