5-HTTLPR genotype and anxiety-related personality traits: A meta-analysis and new data

MR Munafo, NB Freimer, W Ng, R Ophoff, J Veijola, J Miettunen, MR Jarvelin, A Taanila, J Flint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the strength of evidence for association of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the personality trait of Harm Avoidance. We used new primary data from a large sample of adults drawn from the Finnish population. We also applied meta-analytic techniques to synthesize existing published data. The large number Of Studies of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism allowed LIS to apply a formal test of publication bias, as well as formally investigate the impact of potential moderating factors such as measurement instrument. Univariate ANOVA of primary data (n 3,872), with 5-HTTLPR genotype as a between-groups factor, indicated no evidence of association with Harm Avoidance (P = 0.99). Meta-analysis indicated no evidence of significant association of 5-HTTLPR with Harm Avoidance (d = 0.02, P = 0.37), or EPQ Neuroticism (d = 0.01, P = 0.71), although there was evidence of association with NEO Neuroticism (d = 0.18, P <0.001). Our analyses indicate that the 5-HTTLPR variant is not associated with Harm Avoidance. Together with our previous analyses of a large sample of participants with extreme Neuroticism scores (defined by the EPQ), we have data that excludes a meaningful genetic effect of the 5-HTTLPR on two measures of anxiety-related personality traits. There remains the possibility that the variant influences the NEO personality questionnaire measure of Neuroticism. However, a large, well-powered primary study is required to test this hypothesis directly and adequately. (C) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Translated title of the contribution5-HTTLPR genotype and anxiety-related personality traits: A meta-analysis and new data
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271 - 281
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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