Genetic Risk Determinants for Cigarette Smoking Dependence in Mexican Mestizo Families

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Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of mortality in developed and developing countries. Despite antitobacco and smoke-free policies, the prevalence of active smokers in Mexican urban populations has remained stable. Mexican smokers differ from Caucasian and other ethnic groups, probably due to sociocultural and genetic background characteristics. This study explored the effect of known genetic variants on smoking behavior in Mexico City residents.


Three hundred sixty-four Mexican Mestizo Mexico City residents from 87 families with at least one smoker were assessed for association of 12 gene variants of six candidate genes (CHRNA4, CHRNB2, DRD2, ANKK1, SLC6A3, and CYP2A6) with cigarette consumption, age of initiation and smoking duration. The Family Based Association Test, an extension of the Transmission Disequilibrium Test, was used to perform family-based association analysis.


The Family Based Association Test showed statistically significant association between the rs2072658 polymorphism of the CHRNB2 gene and smoking-related phenotypes such as: smoking status (SS), age of onset (AO), years of smoking, and psychological dependence (PD) evaluated by the Glover-Nilsson Smoking Behavior Questionnaire. After Bonferroni correction, only the association with AO remained significant (P = .003). Statistically significant association was also observed for the CYP2A6 rs28399433 T allele with SS (P = .003) and PD (P = .003).


Our results indicate effects of the rs2072658 CHRNB2 and rs28399433 CYP2A6 gene variants on AO, SS and PD in Mexican Mestizo smokers. A mild effect of other analyzed gene variants, which may contribute to a putative polygenic predisposition for smoking, is suggested.


The understanding of genetic and environmental determinants in the Mexican population is important for other Latin American populations as well, living in their own countries or moving to other ones, particular due to the current migration characteristics and particular genetic background like the Mexican Mestizo and other Central American populations with similar characteristics and migrating to neighbor developed countries, introducing their own smoking behavior and contributing importantly to the genetic pool of the receptor country

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