12.3. Frontiers in Health Sciences seminar / Jaakko Kaprio: Twin studies of health-related behaviors, Kuopio

Time 12.3.2020 at 15:00-16:00

University of Eastern Finland
Kuopio campus, Medistudia building, Auditorium MS300

Speaker Professor Jaakko Kaprio
University of Helsinki
Topic Twin studies of health-related behaviors


The seminar is organised by the Faculty of Health Sciences with Professor Heikki Tikkanen as the host. The event, which is free of charge and open to everyone interested, will be held in English. No registration needed. Welcome!

Abstract of the seminar

Health-related behaviours such as smoking, alcohol use,  sleep, physical activity, diet and weight control account for a substantial fraction of the etiology of non-communicable diseases. While causal contribution of these behaviours to many diseases has been established, it is less clear in many others. For example genetic factors can be confounders of the association between behaviour and disease. Family and twin studies permit estimation of the contribution of familial, and genetic factors in particular to inter- individual differences in disease risk. Currently the role of genetic factors is increasingly estimated using genome-wide genotypic data (GWAS, EWAS, GWS). On the other hand differences in exposures between twins in a twin pair can be related to differences in outcome (disease) to test whether the association between the two is independent of genetic factors. While these two designs (estimating the contribution of genetic factors “heritability”  and the discordant pair analysis) represent the bulk of twin studies, other less-used study designs draw on the unique features of twins. These will be illustrated using studies based on the Finnish twin cohorts.