Many studies of twins have shown that genetic and environmental factors play significant, and approximately equal, roles in the determination of smoking initiation (SI) and persistence (SP). Estimates of heritability (h2) and shared (c2) and unique (e2) environmental effects display considerable variability for both SI and SP from one study to another, most likely because of differences in statistical analysis models, subject age, sex, sample size, origin of cohorts, and measurement of smoking behavior. By analyzing nine studies for SI and 12 studies for SP, we found that the parameters h2, c2, and e2 for SI were (mean ± SEM) 0.37 ± 0.04, 0.49 ± 0.04, and 0.17 ± 0.03, respectively, in male adults and 0.55 ± 0.04, 0.24 ± 0.06, and 0.16 ± 0.01, respectively, in female adults. Further, the h2, c2, and e2 for SP were 0.59 ± 0.02, 0.08 ± 0.04, and 0.37 ± 0.03, respectively, in male adults and 0.46 ± 0.12, 0.28 ± 0.08, and 0.24 ± 0.07, respectively, in female adults. Apparently, genetic factor plays a more significant role in SI and a less significant one in SP in female compared with male adults. A significant sex difference also was detected in a shared environmental factor for SI and SP. No significant sex difference was seen for e2 in either phenotype. Together, these findings suggest that genetic and environmental factors contribute differently to the determination of SI and SP in male and female smokers.
Heritability Family study Twin study Smoking initiation Smoking dependence Smoking persistence Monozygotic twins Dizygotic twins Meta-analysis Sex
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This work was modified from the paper published by our group in Addiction (Li et al. 2003; 98: 23–31). The related contents are reused with permission.
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