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Health Agencies Update
January 24/31, 2007

Tobacco Addiction

JAMA. 2007;297(4):354. doi:10.1001/jama.297.4.354-c

A new genetic study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Cancer Institute has revealed a number of genetic variants that may influence risk for nicotine dependence (Saccone SF et al. Hum Mol Genet. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddl438 [published online November 29, 2006]).

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine, in St Louis, Mo, scanned the human genome to identify genes not previously associated with nicotine dependence and analyzed genetic variants in gene families previously identified as suspect. In so doing, they targeted more than 300 candidate genes and analyzed 3713 genetic variants called single nucleotide polymorphisms in 1050 dependent smokers and 879 nondependent smokers. (Control subjects must have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetimes and were not nicotine dependent during the heaviest period of smoking.)