Depression polygenic scores are associated with major depressive disorder diagnosis and depressive episode in Mexican adolescents

Jill A. Rabinowitz, Adrian I. Campos, Corina Benjet, Jinni Su, Luis Macias-Kauffer, Enrique Méndez, Gabriela A. Martinez-Levy, Carlos S. Cruz-Fuentes, Miguel E. Rentería

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Large-scale genome-wide association studies have uncovered genetic variants associated with depression; however, most of this work has been limited to adults of European ancestry. We investigated the ability of depression polygenic risk scores (PRS) to predict both lifetime and past year major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis and major depressive episode (MDE) in a sample of adolescents with admixed ancestry from Mexico City, and explored whether adverse life events moderated these relations. Methods: The study sample consisted of adolescents aged 12–17 (N = 1,123) who were interviewed and genotyped as part of a general population survey on adolescent mental health. PRS for depression were derived using summary statistics from a large-scale discovery genome-wide association study conducted on depressive symptoms that included over 800,000 individuals of European ancestry (Howard et al., 2019). Results: Higher depression PRS were associated with a greater likelihood of both past year MDD and MDE and lifetime MDE, accounting for 1.5–2.5% of the variance in these outcomes. Adversity did not moderate the relationship between depression PRS and lifetime or past year MDD or MDE. Limitations: This study is cross-sectional. As such, some participants might have experienced MDD/MDE after the interview. In addition, our sample comprised only Mexican youth and thus, findings may not generalize to other populations. Conclusions: Our results indicate that depression PRS derived from a European ancestry GWAS are associated with MDD and MDE risk among Mexican adolescents and have the potential to aid in the identification of youth who may be genetically prone to depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100028
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Adversity
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • Mexican
  • Polygenic risk scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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