Association of functional catechol O-methyl transferase (COMT) Val108Met polymorphism with smoking severity and age of smoking initiation in Chinese male smokers.
ABSTRACT Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme involved in the degradation and inactivation of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is important in mediating drug reward such as nicotine in tobacco smoke. Different COMT alleles encode enzyme whose activity varies from three- to fourfold that may affect dopamine levels and alter subjective effects of nicotine. Recent evidence also suggests that a COMT polymorphism may be especially important in determining an individual's predisposition to developing nicotine dependence.
We studied the COMT Val108Met polymorphism in a male population of 203 current smokers, 66 former smokers, and 102 non-smokers. The age-adjusted odds ratios were estimated by multiple logistic regression models.
The results showed no significant association of the COMT Val108Met with initiation, persistent smoking, or smoking cessation. However, current smokers with the Met allele had significantly higher Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence scores (7.5 +/- 2.1 vs 6.8 +/- 1.8, p = 0.018) and started smoking significantly earlier (18.4 +/- 4.9 vs 20.1 +/- 5.9 years, p = 0.036).
These results suggest that the COMT Val108Met polymorphism may not influence smoking status in a Chinese male population but may influence the age at which smoking started and smoking severity among smokers. However, the findings must be regarded as preliminary because of the relatively small sample size and marginal associations and should be replicated in a larger cohort.
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ABSTRACT: Studies explaining educational differences in health often employ current smoking as a mediator. To what extent does lifetime smoking mediate the association between education and self-reported health better than current smoking? Analysis of cross-sectional data from a representative general population sample of Dutch men and women (n = 1,561) with complete retrospective smoking histories. Educational differences in smoking over the life course are more pronounced than educational differences in current smoking, especially among men. The association between education and self-reported health is reduced when controlling for smoking for men. Among women, smoking is not such a mediator. The odds ratio for men with primary education to report less than good health is reduced from 2.94 (95% CI: 1.20-6.30) to 2.62 (95% CI: 1.13-6.05) when current smoking is taken into account and to 2.14 (95% CI: 0.90-5.04) when lifetime smoking is controlled for. This reduction in the difference between the highest and lowest educated is approximately 30% and statistically significant. For women, reductions are smaller and non-significant. Educational differences in smoking among men are underestimated if current instead of lifetime smoking is studied. Consequently, the contribution of smoking to bringing about social inequalities in health is underestimated if current smoking is measured.Preventive Medicine 08/2004; 39(1):19-26. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In studies that used mixed volunteer samples, Lerman et al. [1999: Health Psychol 18:14-20] and Sabol et al. [1999: Health Psychol 18:7-13] reported on an association of smoking with a polymorphism of the dopamine transporter gene. We attempted to replicate this association in a nonvolunteer community sample of 861 Caucasians. No associations were found with either smoking initiation or smoking cessation. Sabol et al.  also reported on an association of the dopamine transporter polymorphism with the personality trait of novelty seeking. However, we failed to find any associations with a range of personality traits, including a scale of fun seeking that correlates with novelty seeking. These negative findings suggest that either the original associations are not replicable or that any association is very small.American Journal of Medical Genetics 07/2000; 96(3):331-4.
- Pharmacological Reviews 01/2000; 51(4):593-628. · 22.35 Impact Factor