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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;96(3):665-71. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.038794. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Associations between polymorphisms in the AHR and CYP1A1-CYP1A2 gene regions and habitual caffeine consumption.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) from populations of European descent identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and cytochrome P450 1A1 and 1A2 (CYP1A1-CYP1A2) genes that are associated with habitual caffeine and coffee consumption.


We examined whether these SNPs (AHR: rs6968865 and rs4410790; CYP1A1-CYP1A2: rs2472297 and rs2470893) and 6 additional tag SNPs in the AHR gene were associated with habitual caffeine consumption in a Costa Rican population.


Subjects were from a case-control study of gene-diet interactions and myocardial infarction. Subjects with hypertension or missing information on smoking, caffeine intake, or genotype were excluded. Subjects were genotyped by using polymerase chain reaction with mass spectrometry-based detection, and caffeine intake was assessed by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire.


Compared with subjects who consumed <100 mg caffeine/d, subjects who consumed >400 mg caffeine/d were more likely to be carriers of the T, C, or T allele for rs6968865, rs4410790, and rs2472297, respectively. The corresponding ORs and 95% CIs were 1.41 (1.03, 1.93), 1.41 (1.04, 1.92), and 1.55 (1.01, 2.36). Multivariate-adjusted ORs (95% CIs) for rs6968865 were 1.44 (1.03, 2.00) for all subjects, 1.75 (1.16, 2.65) for nonsmokers, 1.15 (0.58, 2.30) for current smokers, 2.42 (1.45, 4.04) for subjects >57 y old, and 1.00 (0.65, 1.56) for subjects ≤57 y old. A similar effect modification was observed for rs4410790 but not for rs2472297.


Our findings show that previous associations between SNPs in AHR and CYP1A1-CYP1A2 and caffeine and coffee consumption from GWASs in European populations are also observed in an ethnically distinct Costa Rican population, but age and smoking are important effect modifiers.

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