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There is strong evidence for a genetic contribution to schizophrenia, but the contribution of individual candidate genes remains uncertain. We attempted to replicate a recent meta-analysis that reported an association of the catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val allele with schizophrenia, and suggested that this effect may be moderated by ancestry. We included reports published subsequent to the original meta-analysis, and included a formal test of the moderating effect of ancestry in order to test whether the association operates differently in populations of European ancestry compared to populations of Asian ancestry. A corrected P-value for the 5% significance threshold was employed where appropriate, using Bonferroni's method, and studies that demonstrated departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium among controls were excluded. When all studies were included in a meta-regression, there was evidence for a significant association of COMT Val allele frequency with schizophrenia case status and a significant main effect of ancestry. The interaction of COMT Val allele frequency and ancestry was also significant. However, when only studies that reported allele frequencies that did not depart significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium among controls were included, these effects were no longer significant. The results of our meta-analysis do not support an association between the COMT Val allele and schizophrenia case status, and do not support recent claims that this association may be moderated by ancestry.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Psychiatry

Publication Date





765 - 770


Amino Acid Substitution, Case-Control Studies, Catechol O-Methyltransferase, Databases, Factual, European Continental Ancestry Group, Humans, Methionine, Schizophrenia, Software, Valine