The Total Exposure Study was a stratified, multi-center, cross-sectional study designed to estimate levels of biomarkers of tobacco-specific and non-specific exposure and of potential harm in U.S. adult current cigarette smokers (≥one manufactured cigarette per day over the last year) and tobacco product non-users (no smoking or use of any nicotine containing products over the last 5 years). The study was designed and sponsored by a tobacco company and implemented by contract research organizations in 2002–2003. Multiple analyses of smoking behavior, demographics, and biomarkers were performed. Study data and banked biospecimens were transferred from the sponsor to the Virginia Tobacco and Health Research Repository in 2010, and then to SRI International in 2012, for independent analysis and dissemination.
We analyzed biomarker distributions overall, and by biospecimen availability, for comparison with existing studies, and to evaluate generalizability to the entire sample. We calculated genome-wide statistical power for a priori hypotheses. We performed clinical chemistries, nucleic acid extractions and genotyping, and report correlation and quality control metrics.
Vital signs, clinical chemistries, and laboratory measures of tobacco specific and non-specific toxicants are available from 3585 current cigarette smokers, and 1077 non-users. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, red blood cells, plasma and 24-h urine biospecimens are available from 3073 participants (2355 smokers and 719 non-users). In multivariate analysis, participants with banked biospecimens were significantly more likely to self-identify as White, to be older, to have increased total nicotine equivalents per cigarette, decreased serum cotinine, and increased forced vital capacity, compared to participants without. Effect sizes were small (Cohen’s d-values ≤ 0.11). Power for a priori hypotheses was 57 % in non-Hispanic Black (N = 340), and 96 % in non-Hispanic White (N = 1840), smokers. All DNA samples had genotype completion rates ≥97.5 %; 68 % of RNA samples yielded RIN scores ≥6.0.
Total Exposure Study clinical and laboratory assessments and biospecimens comprise a unique resource for cigarette smoke health effects research. The Total Exposure Study Analysis Consortium seeks to perform molecular studies in multiple domains and will share data and analytic results in public repositories and the peer-reviewed literature. Data and banked biospecimens are available for independent or collaborative research.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2212-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.