Do Poor Diet and Lifestyle Behaviors Modify the Genetic Susceptibility to Impulsivity in the General Population?

Lifelines Cohort Study, Tian Xie, Lizanne J S Schweren, Henrik Larsson, Lin Li, Ebba Du Rietz, Jan Haavik, Liv Grimstvedt Kvalvik, Berit Skretting Solberg, Kari Klungsøyr, Harold Snieder, Catharina A Hartman

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The present study investigated whether an unhealthy diet and other lifestyle behaviors may modify the genetic susceptibility to impulsivity. A total of 33,047 participants (mean age = 42.1 years, 59.8% females) from the Dutch Lifelines cohort were included. Each diet index and other lifestyle behaviors were tested for their interactions on the effect on the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) polygenic risk score (PRS) on impulsivity using a linear regression model with adjustment for covariates. The ADHD PRS was significantly associated with impulsivity (B = 0.03 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.04); p = 2.61 × 10 -9). A poorer diet, a higher intake of energy, and a higher intake of fat were all associated with higher impulsivity, and a high intake of energy amplified the effect of ADHD PRS on impulsivity (e.g., for the interaction term of ADHD PRS and highest tertile on intake of energy, B = 0.038 (95% CI: 0.014, 0.062); p = 0.002. The other lifestyle factors, namely short and long sleep duration, current and past smoking, higher alcohol intake, and more time spent on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were associated with higher impulsivity, but no interaction effect was observed. In conclusion, we found that a high intake of energy exacerbated the genetic susceptibility to impulsivity. Our study helps to improve our understanding of the role of diet and genetic factors on impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1625
Number of pages17
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27-Mar-2023


  • Female
  • Humans
  • Adult
  • Male
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Diet
  • Life Style
  • Risk Factors
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/genetics

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