Demographic and lifestyle characteristics, but not apolipoprotein e genotype, are associated with intelligence among young Chinese college students

Xiao Fen Chen, Zichen Wei, Tingting Wang, Zhen Lian Zhang, Yiwei Wang, Michael G. Heckman, Nancy N. Diehl, Yun Wu Zhang, Huaxi Xu, Guojun Bu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Intelligence is an important human feature that strongly affects many life outcomes, including health, life-span, income, educational and occupational attainments. People at all ages differ in their intelligence but the origins of these differences are much debated. A variety of environmental and genetic factors have been reported to be associated with individual intelligence, yet their nature and contribution to intelligence differences have been controversial. Objective To investigate the contribution of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, which is associated with the risk for Alzheimer's disease, as well as demographic and lifestyle characteristics, to the variation in intelligence. Methods A total of 607 Chinese college students aged 18 to 25 years old were included in this prospective observational study. The Chinese revision ofWechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (the fourth edition, short version) was used to determine the intelligence level of participants. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics data were obtained fromself-administered questionnaires. Results No significant association was found between APOE polymorphic alleles and different intelligence quotient (IQ) measures. Interestingly, a portion of demographic and lifestyle characteristics, including age, smoking and sleep quality were significantly associated with different IQ measures. Conclusions Our findings indicate that demographic features and lifestyle characteristics, but not APOE genotype, are associated with intelligence measures among young Chinese college students. Thus, although APOE ε4 allele is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, it does not seem to impact intelligence at young ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0143157
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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