Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of hoarding symptoms

Translational PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 16, 2022



The prevalence of hoarding disorder is 1%-2.5%; however, the prevalence of hoarding symptoms is 6.7%-9%.

It has been estimated that heritability accounts for 26%-49% of adults with hoarding symptoms; neurobiologic, psychosocial, and environmental factors also have a role, but environmental factors are likely negligible.

Despite the substantial heritability associated with hoarding symptoms, no specific loci linked to hoarding symptoms were identified in the current meta-analysis of seven international cohorts.

The literature was searched for studies (n=7 studies and 27,537 individuals) reporting hoarding symptoms. A genome-wide association study was performed to demonstrate an association between hoarding symptoms and other phenotypes. A heritability estimate of hoarding symptoms was made.

No genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in patients exhibiting hoarding symptoms.

The heritability estimate for hoarding symptoms based on twin cohorts was between 26% and 48%, and the single nucleotide heritability estimate was 11%.

The polygenic risk score showed a genetic risk for schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder associated with hoarding symptoms. There was no association between hoarding symptoms and obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.