This study is the first report of genetic and environmental influences on birthweight using Korean twins. The sample consisted of 255 monozygotic (MZ) and 178 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs drawn from the Seoul Twin Family Study. Intraclass twin correlations were computed for the twins' birthweights obtained from parents (typically mothers) of the twins. To estimate genetic and shared and nonshared environmental influences on birthweight, standard univariate model-fitting analyses were performed using a software, Mx. For each gender, MZ twin correlations were higher than DZ twin correlations, suggesting existence of genetic influences on birthweight; however, DZ twin correlations were higher than half the MZ twin correlations, indicating that shared environmental factors are also important. For each zygosity, twin correlations were not significantly different between males and females, implicating that genes and environments that cause individual differences in birthweight may not vary between males and females. Model-fitting analyses based on the data pooled across gender yielded estimates of 17% for genetic, 60% for shared environmental, and 23% for nonshared environmental influences on birthweight.
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