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Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Dec 1;182(11):945-51. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwv138. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Associations Between Genetic Ancestries and Nicotine Metabolism Biomarkers in the Multiethnic Cohort Study.


Differences in internal dose of nicotine and tobacco-derived carcinogens among ethnic/racial groups have been observed. In this study, we explicitly examined the relationships between genetic ancestries (genome-wide average) and 19 tobacco-derived biomarkers in smokers from 3 admixed groups in the Multiethnic Cohort Study (1993-present), namely, African ancestry in African Americans (n = 362), Amerindian ancestry in Latinos (n = 437), and Asian and Native Hawaiian ancestries in Native Hawaiians (n = 300). After multiple comparison adjustment, both African and Asian ancestries were significantly related to a greater level of free cotinine; African ancestry was also significantly related to lower cotinine glucuronidation (P's < 0.00156). The predicted decrease in cotinine glucuronidation was 8.6% (P = 4.5 × 10(-6)) per a 20% increase in African ancestry. Follow-up admixture mapping revealed that African ancestry in a 12-Mb region on chromosome 4q was related to lower cotinine glucuronidation (P's < 2.7 × 10(-7), smallest P = 1.5 × 10(-9)), although this is the same region reported in our previous genome-wide association study. Our results implicate a genetic ancestral component in the observed ethnic/racial variation in nicotine metabolism. Further studies are needed to identify the underlying genetic variation that could potentially be ethnic/racial specific.


Hispanics; Pacific Islanders; association study; blacks; health disparity; nicotine addiction

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