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Tob Control. 2012 May;21(3):347-54. doi: 10.1136/tc.2011.042739. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Effectiveness of testing for genetic susceptibility to smoking-related diseases on smoking cessation outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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School for Public Health and Primary Care, Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, Maastricht 6200, The Netherlands.



To examine whether genetic testing for smoking-related diseases benefits smoking cessation.


PubMed, EMBASE, ERIC, PsycINFO, PsychArticles, CiNAHL and socINDEX databases, the search engine Google Scholar, and key-author and reference list searches. Study selection Randomised controlled smoking cessation interventions using genetic testing for smoking-related diseases.


Consistent with the Cochrane guidelines, two reviewers completed the review process (initial n=139) in three phases, title selection (n=56), abstract selection (n=28) and whole paper selection (n=9). From these nine studies, each reviewer extracted information about outcome measures and statistical and methodological quality. Data synthesis Relevant data were abstracted from included papers and were subsequently subjected to meta-analysis.


Interest in genetic testing was relatively high with 60-80% of smokers reporting to be interested. The authors observed positive short-term effects on risk perception, motivation to quit smoking and smoking cessation, but these effects fade at longer follow-ups. Importantly, the authors did not find any evidence of adverse effect of testing negative on the risk-predisposing gene.


This systematic review does not provide solid evidence for the proposed beneficial effects of genetic testing for smoking-related diseases on smoking cessation, but does suggest the presence of an immediate motivational effect, such that genetic testing resulted in higher risk perception and more motivation to quit smoking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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