Genetics Alter Ability To Quit Smoking

Posted: June 7, 2012 at 1:16 am

Editor's Choice Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking Also Included In: Genetics Article Date: 06 Jun 2012 - 14:00 PDT

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The finding could pave the way for health care providers to offer a more individualized therapy in the future to assist people in their quest to stop smoking.

NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. declares:

The researchers decided to base their investigation on a cluster of nicotinic receptor genes, namely CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, as previous study have shown that these genes are involved in nicotine dependence and heavy smoking.

Using data from an earlier study, they demonstrated that people with the high-risk nicotinic receptor gene cluster ceased to smoke, on average, 2 years later than those with the low-risk genes. The delay was due to the fact that those with the high-risk gene cluster's tobacco consumption was heavier.

A subsequent clinical trial confirmed that when treated with placebo, the likelihood of failing in their attempts to stop smoking was higher in the high-risk gene group than in those with the low-risk genes, whereas nicotine cessation drugs, like nicotine replacement therapies or bupropion, increased the high-risk group's chance of successfully quitting by a three-fold after the end of the treatment when compared with placebo. This means these drugs prove particularly beneficial in this population group.

First author, Li-Shiun Chen, M.D., of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis explained:

In the US, smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDP). 440,000 deaths from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke could be prevented each year, which translated to about 1 in 5 deaths in the US overall, whilst 8.6 million suffer from a serious smoking-related illness, and even though these health costs are well-documented, there are still more than 46 million adult smokers in the U.S.

Written By Petra Rattue Copyright: Medical News Today Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

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Genetics Alter Ability To Quit Smoking

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