Association between ADHD and smoking in adolescence: shared genetic, environmental and psychopathological factors
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The present study aimed to examine the extent to which the co-occurrence of ADHD and smoking in adolescents could be attributed to common genetic, environmental and psychopathological factors. Data are from an ongoing prospective study of the outcome of early risk factors. At age 15 years, 305 adolescents completed self-report questionnaires measuring tobacco consumption and deviant peer affiliations. Lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were obtained using standardized interviews. DNA was genotyped for the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene exon III polymorphism. Adolescents with a lifetime diagnosis of ADHD displayed significantly higher smoking activity than non-ADHD controls. A major component of this association could be accounted for by deviant peer affiliations and the comorbidity with oppositional-defiant and conduct disorder, while a minor part was attributable to DRD4 in males but not in females. These findings suggest that the association of ADHD with smoking relies on risk factors shared by the two behaviors.