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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e53322. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053322. Epub 2012 Dec 28.

A possible genetic link between MTHFR genotype and smoking behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany. michael.linnebank@usz.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor for stroke and other vascular events. The variant methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T is associated with elevated homocysteine levels, cardiovascular disease and stroke, which supports a causal relationship between hyperhomocysteinemia and vascular disease. However, MTHFR variants have also been reported to be associated with smoking behavior, which could be an important confounder.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We analyzed the MTHFR variants C677T and A1298C in two independent samples of 525 and 535 individuals, respectively. 21% of the non-smokers, but only 12% of the smokers were homozygous carriers of both MTHFR wildtype alleles, i.e. 677CC and 1298AA (Chi² = 15.8; p<0.001; binary regression). Plasma homocysteine levels were higher in smokers (13.9±4.1 µmol/L) than in non-smokers (12.6±4.0 µmol/L; F = 11.4; p = 0.001; ANOVA). Smoking MTHFR 677TT individuals had the highest plasma homocysteine levels (16.2±5.2 µmol/L), non-smoking 677CC individuals had the lowest (12.2±13.6 µmol/L).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

In our study samples, MTHFR variants and smoking behaviour were associated with homocysteine plasma levels. In addition, the MTHFR variants were associated with smoking behaviour. Such an association may be a relevant confounder between MTHFR variants, homocysteine plasma levels and vascular diseases.

PMID:
23285280
PMCID:
PMC3532068
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0053322
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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