Objective Using a twins study, we sought to assess the contribution of genetic against environmental factor as they affect the age at transition from infancy to childhood (ICT). Study design The subjects were 56 pairs of monozygotic twins, 106 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 106 pairs of regular siblings (SBs), for a total of 536 children. Their ICT was determined, and a variance component analysis was implemented to estimate components of the familial variance, with simultaneous adjustment for potential covariates. Results We found substantial contribution of the common environment shared by all types of SBs that explained 27.7% of the total variance in ICT, whereas the common twin environment explained 9.2% of the variance, gestational age 3.5%, and birth weight 1.8%. In addition, 8.7% was attributable to sex difference, but we found no detectable contribution of genetic factors to inter-individual variation in ICT age. Conclusions Developmental plasticity impacts much of human growth. Here we show that of the ∼50% of the variance provided to adult height by the ICT, 42.2% is attributable to adaptive cues represented by shared twin and SB environment, with no detectable genetic involvement.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health