This study evaluated association between common and rare sequence variants in 10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes and the severity of nausea 21 days after initiating the standard, FDA-approved varenicline regimen for smoking cessation. Included in the analysis were 397 participants from a randomized clinical effectiveness trial with complete clinical and DNA resequencing data (mean age = 49.2 years; 68.0% female). Evidence for significant association between common sequence variants in CHRNB2 and nausea severity was obtained after adjusting for age, gender, and correlated tests (all PACT<.05). Individuals with the minor allele of CHRNB2 variants experienced less nausea than did those without the minor allele, consistent with previously reported findings for CHRNB2 and the occurrence of nausea and dizziness as a consequence of first smoking attempt in adolescents, and with the known neurophysiology of nausea. As nausea is the most common reason for discontinuance of varenicline, further pharmacogenetic investigations are warranted.
varenicline; nausea; smoking cessation; adherence
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are related to smoking cessation. A Rasch model has been used to develop a unidimensional sensitivity score representing multiple correlated measures of nicotine withdrawal. A previous autosome-wide screen identified a nonparametric linkage (NPL) log-likelihood ratio (LOD) score of 2.7 on chromosome 6q26 for the sum of nine withdrawal symptoms.
The objectives of these analyses are: a) to assess the influence of nicotine withdrawal sensitivity on relapse, b) conduct autosome-wide NPL analysis of nicotine withdrawal sensitivity among 158 pedigrees with 432 individuals with microsatellite genotypes and nicotine withdrawal scores, and c) explore family-based association of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) at the mu opioid receptor (MOR) candidate gene (OPRM1) to nicotine withdrawal sensitivity in 172 nuclear pedigrees with 419 individuals with both SNP genotypes and nicotine withdrawal scores.
An increased risk for relapse was associated with nicotine withdrawal sensitivity score (odds ratio, OR=1.25, 95% confidence interval, 95%CI=1.10,1.42). A maximal NPL LOD score of 3.15, suggestive of significant linkage, was identified at chr6q26 for nicotine withdrawal sensitivity. Evaluation of 18 OPRM1 SNPs via the family based association test (FBAT) with the nicotine withdrawal sensitivity score identified eight tagging SNPs with global P-values<0.05 and false discovery rate Q-values<0.06.
An increased risk of relapse, suggestive linkage at chr6q26, and nominally significant association with multiple OPRM1 SNPs was found with Rasch modeled nicotine withdrawal sensitivity score in a multiplex smoking pedigree sample. Future studies should attempt to replicate these findings and investigate the relationship between nicotine withdrawal symptoms and variation at OPRM1.
The ratio of trans-3’hydroxycotinine/cotinine (3HC/COT) is a marker of CYP2A6 activity, an important determinant of nicotine metabolism. This analysis sought to conduct a combined genetic epidemiologic and pharmacogenetic investigation of the 3HC/COT ratio in plasma and urine.
One hundred thirty nine twin pairs (110 monozygotic [MZ] and 29 dizygotic [DZ]) underwent a 30-minute infusion of stable isotope-labeled nicotine and its major metabolite, cotinine, followed by an 8-hour in-hospital stay. Blood and urine samples were taken at regular intervals for analysis of nicotine, cotinine, and metabolites. DNA was genotyped to confirm zygosity and for variation in the gene for the primary nicotine metabolic enzyme, CYP2A6 (variants genotyped: *1B, *1×2, *2, *4, *9, *12). Univariate biometric analyses quantified genetic and environmental influences on each measure in the presence and absence of covariates, including measured CYP2A6 genotype.
There was a substantial amount of variation in the free 3HC/COT ratio in plasma (6 hours post-infusion) attributable to additive genetic influences (67.4%, 95% CI = 55.9–76.2%). The heritability estimate was reduced to 61.0% and 49.4%, respectively, after taking into account the effect of covariates and CYP2A6 genotype. In urine (collected over 8 hours), the estimated amount of variation in the 3HC/COT ratio attributable to additive genetic influences was smaller (47.2%, 95% CI = 0–67.2%) and decreased to 44.6% and 42.0% after accounting for covariates and genotype.
Additive genetic factors are prominent in determining variation in plasma 3HC/COT variation but less so in determining variation in urine 3HC/COT.
pharmacogenetics; nicotine; cotinine; metabolism; CYP2A6; twins; genetics; heritability
Susceptibility to cigarette smoking in tobacco-naive youth is a strong predictor of smoking initiation. Identifying mechanisms that contribute to smoking susceptibility provide information about early targets for smoking prevention. This study investigated whether sensitivity to secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) contributes to smoking susceptibility.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:
Subjects were high-risk, ethnically diverse 8- to 13-year-old subjects who never smoked and who lived with at least 1 smoker and who participated in a longitudinal SHSe reduction intervention trial. Reactions (eg, feeling dizzy) to SHSe were assessed at baseline, and smoking susceptibility was assessed at baseline and 3 follow-up measurements over 12 months. We examined the SHSe reaction factor structure, association with demographic characteristics, and prediction of longitudinal smoking susceptibility status.
Factor analysis identified “physically unpleasant” and “pleasant” reaction factors. Reported SHSe reactions did not differ across gender or family smoking history. More black preteens reported feeling relaxed and calm, and fewer reported feeling a head rush or buzz compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic white counterparts. Longitudinally, 8.5% of subjects tracked along the trajectory for high (versus low) smoking susceptibility. Reporting SHSe as “unpleasant or gross” predicted a 78% reduction in the probability of being assigned to the high–smoking susceptibility trajectory (odds ratio: 0.22 [95% confidence interval: 0.05–0.95]), after covariate adjustment.
Assessment of SHSe sensitivity is a novel approach to the study of cigarette initiation etiology and informs prevention interventions.
secondhand smoke; sensitivity; smoking susceptibility; trajectories; preteens
Identifying human genes relevant for the processing of pain requires difficult-to-conduct and expensive large-scale clinical trials. Here, we examine a novel integrative paradigm for data-driven discovery of pain gene candidates, taking advantage of the vast amount of existing disease-related clinical literature and gene expression microarray data stored in large international repositories. First, thousands of diseases were ranked according to a disease-specific pain index (DSPI), derived from Medical Subject Heading (MESH) annotations in MEDLINE. Second, gene expression profiles of 121 of these human diseases were obtained from public sources. Third, genes with expression variation significantly correlated with DSPI across diseases were selected as candidate pain genes. Finally, selected candidate pain genes were genotyped in an independent human cohort and prospectively evaluated for significant association between variants and measures of pain sensitivity. The strongest signal was with rs4512126 (5q32, ABLIM3, P = 1.3×10−10) for the sensitivity to cold pressor pain in males, but not in females. Significant associations were also observed with rs12548828, rs7826700 and rs1075791 on 8q22.2 within NCALD (P = 1.7×10−4, 1.8×10−4, and 2.2×10−4 respectively). Our results demonstrate the utility of a novel paradigm that integrates publicly available disease-specific gene expression data with clinical data curated from MEDLINE to facilitate the discovery of pain-relevant genes. This data-derived list of pain gene candidates enables additional focused and efficient biological studies validating additional candidates.
The mechanisms underlying pain are incompletely understood, and are hard to study due to the subjective and complex nature of pain. From a genetics perspective, the discovery of genes relevant for the processing of pain in humans has been slow and genome-wide association studies have not been successful in yielding significantly associated variants. Targeted approaches examining specific candidate genes may be more promising. We present a novel integrative approach that combines publicly available molecular data and automatically extracted knowledge regarding pain contained in the literature to assist the discovery of novel pain genes. We prospectively validated this approach by demonstrating a significant association between several newly identified pain gene candidates and sensitivity to cold pressor pain.
Patient adherence to smoking cessation medications can impact their effectiveness. It is important to understand the extent to which prescribed medications are actually taken by smokers, how this influences smoking cessation outcomes, and what factors may influence adherence.
Smokers recruited from a large health plan were randomized to receive different modes of cessation counseling in combination with varenicline (Swan, G. E., McClure, J. B., Jack, L. M., Zbikowski, S. M., Javitz, H. S., Catz, S. L., et al. 2010.Behavioral counseling and varenicline treatment for smoking cessation. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 38, 482–490). One thousand one hundred and sixty-one participants were mailed a 28-day varenicline supply when they set a quit date and were able to request up to two refills from the health plan pharmacy at no cost. Pharmacy fill records were obtained and telephone surveys completed at baseline, 21 days, 12 weeks, and 6 months post target quit date.
Good adherence to varenicline (≥80% of days taken) was associated with a twofold increase in 6-month quit rates compared with poor adherence (52% vs. 25%). Smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to stop varenicline early. Purposeful nonadherence was associated with smoking at 12 weeks and was predicted in multivariate analyses by age, gender, adherence self-efficacy, and initial medication side effect severity.
Innovative methods for increasing adherence to smoking cessation medications are needed, particularly early in the quit process. Simple metrics of adherence such as number of days cessation medication is taken can and should be routinely incorporated in effectiveness trials and reported to advance future attempts to understand and reduce nonadherence.
Although previous investigations have indicated a role for genetic factors in smoking initiation, the underlying genetic mechanisms are still unknown. In 2,339 adolescents from a Chinese Han population in the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial (Wuhan, China, 1998–1999), the authors explored the association of 57 genes in the dopamine pathway with smoking initiation. Using a conservative approach for declaring significance, positive findings were further examined in an independent sample of 603 Caucasian adolescents followed for up to 10 years as part of the Children's Health Study (Southern California, 1993–2009). The authors identified 1 single nucleotide polymorphism (rs2298122) in the calcyon neuron-specific vesicular protein gene (CALY) that was positively associated with smoking initiation in females (odds ratio = 2.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.49, 3.27; P = 8.4 × 10−5) in the Wuhan Smoking Prevention Trial cohort, and they replicated the association in females from the Children's Health Study cohort (hazard rate ratio = 2.05, 95% confidence interval: 1.27, 3.31; P = 0.003). These results suggest that the CALY gene may influence smoking initiation in adolescents, although the potential roles of underlying psychological characteristics that may be components of the smoking-initiation phenotype, such as impulsivity or novelty-seeking, remain to be explored.
adolescent; dopamine; genetic association studies; smoking
To investigate the sensitivity to secondhand smoke exposure (SHSe) in preteens age 8 to 13 who have never smoked, and to determine whether SHSe sensitivity predicts smoking susceptibility.
We assessed sensitivity to SHSe using reactions commonly used for assessment of sensitivity to the first smoked cigarette (e.g., feeling dizzy), and investigated the factor structure of these reactions for the purpose of data reduction. We examined the association of each reaction measure and summary score with demographic characteristics and with smoking susceptibility, using logistic regression and ordinal logistic regression.
One factor was identified that captured physical/unpleasant reactions. Older preteens and preteens with more highly educated parents reported fewer reactions to SHSe. More African American preteens reported feeling relaxed or calm compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Experiencing physical/unpleasant reactions to SHSe predicted lower risk for smoking susceptibility.
This was the first study to extend analytical methodology for sensitivity to active smoking to sensitivity to SHSe in youth who have never smoked. Results suggest a desensitization process with age and lower sensitivity to some reactions in preteens from more highly educated households. Preteens who have more aversive experience s with SHSe tend to be less susceptible to smoking than those who experience fewer aversive reactions. Assessment of sensitivity to SHSe is a novel approach to the study of cigarette use etiology and may contribute to better prediction of smoking initiation.
preteens; secondhand smoke; reactions; sensitivity; smoking susceptibility
There is a lack of evidence of the relative cost-effectiveness of proactive telephone counseling (PTC) and Web-based delivery of smoking cessation services in conjunction with pharmacotherapy. We calculated the differential cost-effectiveness of three behavioral smoking cessation modalities with varenicline treatment in a randomized trial of current smokers from a large health system. Eligible participants were randomized to one of three smoking cessation interventions: Web-based counseling (n=401), PTC (n=402), or combined PTC-Web counseling (n=399). All participants received a standard 12-week course of varenicline. The primary outcome was a 7-day point prevalent nonsmoking at the 6month follow-up. The Web intervention was the least expensive followed by the PTC and PTC-Web groups. Costs per additional 6-month nonsmoker and per additional lifetime quitter were $1,278 and $2,601 for Web, $1,472 and $2,995 for PTC, and $1,617 and $3,291 for PTC-Web. Cost per life-year (LY) and quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) saved were $1,148 and $1,136 for Web, $1,320 and $1,308 for PTC, and $1,450 and $1,437 for PTC-Web. Based on the cost per LY and QALY saved, these interventions are among the most cost-effective life-saving medical treatments. Web, PTC, and combined PTC-Web treatments were all highly cost-effective, with the Web treatment being marginally more cost-effective than the PTC or combined PTC-Web treatments.
Smoking cessation; Varenicline; Cost-effectiveness; Quality-adjusted life-years saved; Behavioral intervention
Common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit genes have previously been associated with measures of nicotine dependence. We investigated the contribution of common SNPs and rare single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in nAChR genes to Fagerström test for nicotine dependence (FTND) scores in treatment-seeking smokers. Exons of 10 genes were resequenced with next-generation sequencing technology in 448 European-American participants of a smoking cessation trial, and CHRNB2 and CHRNA4 were resequenced by Sanger technology to improve sequence coverage. A total of 214 SNP/SNVs were identified, of which 19.2% were excluded from analyses because of reduced completion rate, 73.9% had minor allele frequencies <5%, and 48.1% were novel relative to dbSNP build 129. We tested associations of 173 SNP/SNVs with the FTND score using data obtained from 430 individuals (18 were excluded because of reduced completion rate) using linear regression for common, the cohort allelic sum test and the weighted sum statistic for rare, and the multivariate distance matrix regression method for both common and rare SNP/SNVs. Association testing with common SNPs with adjustment for correlated tests within each gene identified a significant association with two CHRNB2 SNPs, eg, the minor allele of rs2072660 increased the mean FTND score by 0.6 Units (P=0.01). We observed a significant evidence for association with the FTND score of common and rare SNP/SNVs at CHRNA5 and CHRNB2, and of rare SNVs at CHRNA4. Both common and/or rare SNP/SNVs from multiple nAChR subunit genes are associated with the FTND score in this sample of treatment-seeking smokers.
Fagerström test for nicotine dependence; single-nucleotide polymorphism; candidate gene association scan; treatment-seeking smokers; addiction & substance abuse; clinical pharmacology; clinical trials; neurogenetics; acetylcholine
nicotine metabolism; glucuronidation; twins; heritability
Little is known about progression of and risk factors for sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in old age. We prospectively examined elderly volunteers to understand how changes in body weight are related to SDB for a period of 20–30 years.
Participants were 30 surviving members of a community-based cohort (mean entry age = 57.8) studied over a median follow-up of 23.4 years. SDB was quantified as the apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) via in-lab polysomnography from 215 nights, representing 733.3 person-years of follow-up. Weights were recorded in kilograms. We used linear regression to derive individual trajectories of AHI and weight regressed on time.
Individuals had relatively low AHI (X = 2.3 [SD = 3.5]) and body mass index (kg/m2; X = 24.6 [SD = 4.6]) at entry. Rates of change in AHI were characterized by positive slopes and linear increases by least squares regression. Mean rate of change was +0.43 events per hour per year, a 3.3% yearly increase relative to the maximum AHI observed for each case. Within individuals, curve fitting indicated statistically significant AHI increases associated not only with increases, but also decreases, in weight.
Rates of increase in AHI were larger than for aging reported for other organ systems (eg, autonomic, musculoskeletal, and respiratory), possibly reflecting complex mechanistic determination of SDB in old age. Association between decreased weight and increased SDB with advancing years represents an important “proof of concept,” perhaps compatible with failure to maintain airway patency during sleep as a component of generalized muscle weakness in old age.
Sleep disordered breathing; Aging; Body weight; Longitudinal study
Drug addiction research requires but lacks a valid and reliable way to measure both the risk (propensity) to develop addiction and the severity of manifest addiction. This paper argues for a new measurement approach and instrument to quantify propensity to and severity of addiction, based on the testable assumption that these constructs can be mapped onto the same dimension of liability to addiction. The case for this new direction becomes clear from a critical review of empirical data and the current instrumentation. The many assessment instruments in use today have proven utility, reliability, and validity, but they are of limited use for evaluating individual differences in propensity and severity. The conceptual and methodological shortcomings of instruments currently used in research and clinical practice can be overcome through the use of new technologies to develop a reliable, valid, and standardized assessment instrument(s) to measure and distinguish individual variations in expression of the underlying latent trait(s) that comprises propensity to and severity of drug addiction. Such instrumentation would enhance our capacity for drug addiction research on linkages and interactions among familial, genetic, psychosocial, and neurobiological factors associated with variations in propensity and severity. It would lead to new opportunities in substance abuse prevention, treatment, and services research, as well as in interventions and implementation science for drug addiction.
tobacco; cannabis assessment; individual differences; adolescents
Treatment outcomes were compared across smokers enrolled in the COMPASS cessation trial with (PH+, n = 271) and without (PH-, n = 271) a diagnosis of psychiatric history based on medical record evidence of anxiety, depression, psychotic disorder, or bipolar disorder Everyone received behavioral counseling plus varenicline and was followed for 6 months post-quit date. PH+ smokers took varenicline for fewer days on average (59.4 vs. 68.5, P ≤ .01), but did not differ in their use of behavioral treatment. PH+ smokers were more likely to report anxiety and depression, but side-effect intensity ratings did not differ after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Overall, all side-effects were rated as moderate intensity or less. Groups had similar 30 day abstinence rates at 6 months (31.5% PH+ vs. 35.4% PH-, P = .35). In sum, having a psychiatric diagnosis in this trial did not predict worse treatment outcome or worse treatment side-effects.
varenicline; smoking cessation; depression; anxiety; psychiatric illness; side-effects
Smoking remains the primary preventable cause of death and illness in the U.S. Effective, convenient treatment programs are needed to reduce smoking prevalence.
This study compared the effectiveness of three modalities of a behavioral smoking-cessation program in smokers using varenicline.
Current treatment seeking smokers (n=1202) were recruited from a large healthcare organization between October 2006 and October 2007. Eligible participants were randomized to one of three smoking-cessation interventions: web-based counseling (n=401), proactive telephone-based counseling (PTC; n=402), or combined PTC and web counseling (n=399). All participants received a standard 12-week FDA-approved course of varenicline. Self-report determined the primary outcomes (7-day point prevalent abstinence at 3- and 6-month follow-up), the number of days varenicline was taken, and treatment-related symptoms. Behavioral measures determined utilization of both the web- and phone-based counseling.
Intent-to-treat analyses revealed relatively high percentages of abstinence at 3 months (38.9%, 48.5%, 43.4%) and at 6 months (30.7%, 34.3%, 33.8%) for the web, PTC, and PTC web groups, respectively. The PTC group had a significantly higher percentage of abstinence than the web group at 3 months, OR=1.48, 95% CI 1.12–1.96, but no between-group differences in abstinence outcomes were seen at 6 months.
Phone counseling had greater treatment advantage for early cessation and appeared to increase medication adherence, but the absence of differences at 6 months suggests that any of the interventions hold promise when used in conjunction with varenicline.
This project studied the convergent validity of current recall of tobacco-related health behaviors, compared with prospective self-report collected earlier at two sites. Cohorts were from the Oregon Research Institute at Eugene (N = 346, collected 19.5 years earlier) and the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (N = 294, collected 3.9 years earlier). Current recall was examined through computer-assisted interviews with the Lifetime Tobacco Use Questionnaire from 2005 through 2008. Convergent validity estimates demonstrated variability. Validity estimates of some tobacco use measures were significant for Oregon subjects (age at first cigarette, number of cigarettes/day, quit attempts yes/no and number of attempts, and abstinence symptoms at quitting; all P < 0.03). Validity estimates of Pittsburgh subjects’ self-reports of tobacco use and abstinence symptoms were significant (P < 0.001) for all tobacco use and abstinence symptoms and for responses to initial use of tobacco. These findings support the utility of collecting recalled self-report information for reconstructing salient lifetime health behaviors and underscore the need for careful interpretation.
data collection; mental recall; prospective studies; reproducibility of results; retrospective studies; tobacco use disorder
Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) is the human enzyme responsible for the majority of nicotine’s metabolism. CYP2A6 genetic variants contribute to the inter-individual and inter-ethnic variation in nicotine metabolism. We examined the association between the CYP2A6*1B variant and nicotine’s in vivo metabolism.
Intravenous infusions of deuterium-labeled nicotine were administered to 292 volunteers, 163 of whom were White and did not have common CYP2A6 variants, other than CYP2A6*1B.
We discovered three novel CYP2A6*1B variants in the 3′-flanking region of the gene that can confound genotyping assays. We found significant differences between CYP2A6*1A/*1A, CYP2A6*1A/*1B and CYP2A6*1B/*1B groups in total nicotine clearance (17.2±5.2, 19.0±6.4 and 20.4±5.9, P < 0.02), nonrenal nicotine clearance (16.4±5.0, 18.5±6.2 and 19.8±5.7, P < 0.01) and the plasma 3HC/COT ratio (0.26±0.1, 0.26±0.1 and 0.34±0.1, P < 0.001). There were also differences in total nicotine (29.4±12.9, 25.8±0.12.9 and 22.4±12.4, P < 0.01), cotinine (29.2±8.1, 32.2±9.1 and 33.0±6.6, P < 0.01) and trans-3′-hydroxcotinine (32.4±9.1, 34.2±12.3 and 41.3±11.3, P < 0.001) excreted in the urine.
We report evidence that CYP2A6*1B genotype is associated with faster nicotine clearance in vivo, which will be important to future CYP2A6 genotype association studies.
PMID: 17522595 CAMSID: cams1335
Characterizing cotinine pharmacokinetics is a useful way to study nicotine metabolism because the same liver enzyme is primarily responsible for the metabolism of both, and the clearances of nicotine and cotinine are highly correlated. We conducted a whole-genome linkage analysis to search for candidate regions influencing quantitative variation in cotinine pharmacokinetics in a large-scale pharmacokinetic study with 61 families containing 224 healthy adult participants. The strongest linkage signal was identified at 135 cM of chromosome 9 with LOD=2.81 and P=0.0002; two other suggestive linkage peaks appear at 31.4 and 73.5 cM of chromosome 11 with LOD=1.96 (P=0.0013) and 1.94 (P=0.0014). The confidence level of the linkage between the three genome regions and cotinine pharmacokinetics is statistically significant with a genome-wide empirical probability of P=0.029.
pharmacokinetics; nicotine; dependence; linkage analysis
Tobacco smoking continues to be a leading cause of preventable death. Recent research has underscored the important role of specific cholinergic nicotinic receptor subunit (CHRN) genes in risk for nicotine dependence and smoking. To detect and characterize the influence of genetic variation on vulnerability to nicotine dependence, we analyzed 226 SNPs covering the complete family of 16 CHRN genes, which encode the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, in a sample of 1050 nicotine-dependent cases and 879 non-dependent controls of European descent. This expanded SNP coverage has extended and refined the findings of our previous large scale genome-wide association and candidate gene study. After correcting for the multiple tests across this gene family, we found significant association for two distinct loci in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster, one locus in the CHRNB3-CHRNA6 gene cluster, and a fourth, novel locus in the CHRND-CHRNG gene cluster. The two distinct loci in CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 are represented by the non-synonymous SNP rs16969968 in CHRNA5 and by rs578776 in CHRNA3, respectively, and joint analyses show that the associations at these two SNPs are statistically independent. Nominally significant single-SNP association was detected in CHRNA4 and CHRNB1. In summary, this is the most comprehensive study of the CHRN genes for involvement with nicotine dependence to date. Our analysis reveals significant evidence for at least four distinct loci in the nicotinic receptor subunit genes that each influence the transition from smoking to nicotine dependence and may inform the development of improved smoking cessation treatments and prevention initiatives.
cholinergic nicotinic receptors; nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; smoking; genetic association
This paper examines reported symptoms, nonsmoking rates, and medication use among 1018 smokers using varenicline in a randomized trial comparing three forms of behavioral support for smoking cessation (phone, web, or phone + web). One month after beginning varenicline, 168 people (17%) had discontinued the medication. Most (53%) quit due to side-effects and other symptoms. The most common side-effect among all users was nausea (reported by 57% of users). At one month post medication initiation, those not taking varenicline were more likely to report smoking than those who continued the medication (57% vs. 16%, p<.001). Women reported more symptoms but did not discontinue medication at higher rates. Participants who received any telephone counseling (n=681) were less likely to discontinue their medication than those with web support only (15% vs. 21%, p<.01). Counseling may improve tolerance of this medication and reduce the rate of discontinuation due to side-effects. (149 words)
Varenicline; smoking cessation; tobacco dependence treatment
To examine whether Rasch modeling would yield a unidimensional withdrawal sensitivity measure correlating with factors associated with successful smoking cessation.
The psychometric Rasch modeling approach was applied to estimate an underlying latent construct (withdrawal sensitivity) in retrospective responses from 1,644 smokers who reported quitting for three or more months at least once.
Web-based, passcode-controlled self-administered computerized questionnaire.
Randomly selected convenience sample of N=1,644 adult members of an e-mail invitation-only Web panel drawn from consumer databases.
Lifetime Tobacco Use Questionnaire, assessing tobacco use across the lifespan, including demographics and respondent ratings of the severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced in respondents' first and most recent quit attempts lasting three or more months.
Rasch-modeled withdrawal sensitivity was generally unidimensional and was associated with longer periods of smoking cessation. One latent variable accounted for 74% of the variability in symptom scores. Rasch modeling with a single latent factor fit withdrawal symptoms well, except for increased appetite, for which the fit was marginal. Demographic variables of education, gender, and ethnicity were not related to changes in sensitivity. Correlates of greater withdrawal sensitivity in cessation attempts of at least three months included younger age at first quit attempt and indicators of tobacco dependence.
The relationship between tobacco dependence symptoms and Rasch-model withdrawal sensitivity further defines the relationship between sensitivity and dependence. The findings demonstrate the utility of modeling to create an individual-specific sensitivity measure as a tool for exploring the relationships among sensitivity, dependence, and cessation.
Rasch model; withdrawal symptoms; tobacco dependence; nicotine withdrawal; Lifetime Tobacco Use Questionnaire
Clinical trial and epidemiological studies need high quality biospecimens from a representative sample of participants to investigate genetic influences on treatment response and disease. Obtaining blood biospecimens presents logistical and financial challenges. As a result, saliva biospecimen collection is becoming more frequent because of the ease of collection and lower cost. This article describes an assessment of saliva biospecimen samples collected through the mail, trial participant demographic and behavioral characteristics, and their association with saliva and DNA quantity and quality.
Saliva biospecimens were collected using the Oragene® DNA Self-Collection Kits from participants in a National Cancer Institute funded smoking cessation trial. Saliva biospecimens from 565 individuals were visually inspected for clarity prior to and after DNA extraction. DNA samples were then quantified by UV absorbance, PicoGreen®, and qPCR. Genotyping was performed on 11 SNPs using TaqMan® SNP assays and two VNTR assays. Univariate, correlation, and analysis of variance analyses were conducted to observe the relationship between saliva sample and participant characteristics.
The biospecimen kit return rate was 58.5% among those invited to participate (n = 967) and 47.1% among all possible COMPASS participants (n = 1202). Significant gender differences were observed with males providing larger saliva volume (4.7 vs. 4.5 ml, p = 0.019), samples that were more likely to be judged as cloudy (39.5% vs. 24.9%, p < 0.001), and samples with greater DNA yield as measured by UV (190.0 vs. 138.5, p = 0.002), but reduced % human DNA content (73.2 vs. 77.6 p = 0.005) than females. Other participant characteristics (age, self-identified ethnicity, baseline cigarettes per day) were associated with saliva clarity. Saliva volume and saliva and DNA clarity were positively correlated with total DNA yield by all three quantification measurements (all r > 0.21, P < 0.001), but negatively correlated with % human DNA content (saliva volume r = -0.148 and all P < 0.010). Genotyping completion rate was not influenced by saliva or DNA clarity.
Findings from this study show that demographic and behavioral characteristics of smoking cessation trial participants have significant associations with saliva and DNA metrics, but not with the performance of TaqMan® SNP or VNTR genotyping assays.
COMPASS; registered as NCT00301145 at clinicaltrials.gov.
Motivation: A challenging problem after a genome-wide association study (GWAS) is to balance the statistical evidence of genotype–phenotype correlation with a priori evidence of biological relevance.
Results: We introduce a method for systematically prioritizing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for further study after a GWAS. The method combines evidence across multiple domains including statistical evidence of genotype–phenotype correlation, known pathways in the pathologic development of disease, SNP/gene functional properties, comparative genomics, prior evidence of genetic linkage, and linkage disequilibrium. We apply this method to a GWAS of nicotine dependence, and use simulated data to test it on several commercial SNP microarrays.
Availability: A comprehensive database of biological prioritization scores for all known SNPs is available at http://zork.wustl.edu/gin. This can be used to prioritize nicotine dependence association studies through a straightforward mathematical formula—no special software is necessary.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
A challenging problem after a genome-wide association study (GWAS) is to balance the statistical evidence of geno-type-phenotype correlation with a priori evidence of biological relevance.
We introduce a method for systematically prioritizing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for further study after a GWAS. The method combines evidence across multiple domains, including statistical evidence of genotype-phenotype correlation, known pathways in the pathologic development of disease, SNP/gene functional properties, comparative genomics, prior evidence of genetic linkage, and linkage disequilibrium. We apply this method to a GWAS of nicotine dependence, and use simulated data to test it on several commercial SNP microarrays.