Background/Aims: Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has widespread effects on the developing and mature nervous system. This study examined whether genetic differences in the EGF predict differences in the self-reported level of activity temperament in adults. Methods: Two hundred and ninety-two men and women from the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study were genotyped for the functional EGF gene A61G polymorphisms, and their temperamental activity was assessed 3 times in 1992, 1997 and 2001. Results: The EGF gene predicted temperamental activity (the mean of 3 assessments, p = 0.007), with the G/G genotype being associated with the highest level of activity. Additional analyses in separate years indicated that the association was robust across different measurements of activity (p ≤ 0.05 in 1992 and 1997, p = 0.008 in 2001). Conclusion: These results suggest that polymorphic variation in the EGF A61 gene may be one of the factors underlying the temperament dimension of activity.
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